Sustainable, well-designed and vibrant communities are the future for Tewkesbury, as the borough council wins its bid for the area to become a new Garden Town.
The government announced on Monday, 25 March that Tewkesbury and its surrounding area is one of only a handful of locations to be awarded Garden Town status, which will see it receive around three quarters of a million pounds in initial funding to deliver long-term sustainable development plans.
Tewkesbury Borough Council submitted its bid to the government to become a Garden Town in November last year, explaining that the Tewkesbury area is the perfect place to be a part of the scheme due to its key location surrounding J9 of the M5 and the critical role it plays in the growth of Gloucestershire.
Garden Town status means the borough council and its stakeholders can develop Tewkesbury and its surrounding area in a really holistic way - helping to create vibrant, thriving settlements where people can live, work and raise families. This includes improving transport links, education provision and green infrastructure, such as new parks and cycle routes. It also means the council will have access to specialist government support and strategic planning advice.
The Garden Town status is specifically aimed at helping the council deliver up to 10,195 houses for Tewkesbury at Ashchurch over the period to 2041.
Through the Joint Core Strategy and the Ashchurch Concept Masterplan, options have been discussed on how best to deliver Tewkesbury’s housing shortfall of 2,500 homes by 2031. By planning to 2041, and using its new Garden Town status, the council is better equipped to meet future housing need, provide space for new businesses and help ensure new and existing communities work well together.
As part of its bid, the council set out clear expectations for the quality of housing development and how it can be maintained using principles including: clear identity; sustainable scale; well-designed; strong vision and engagement; green space; and great homes and jobs.
Tewkesbury Borough Council’s Chief Executive, Mike Dawson, said: "We are really pleased to have been awarded Garden Town status and funding to meet our communities’ future needs.
“The government clearly recognises the crucial role our area plays in helping to unlock the delivery of much needed homes, and the Garden Town status formally recognises our commitment to creating vibrant and thriving communities.
"We want to build communities in a way that is inclusive, delivering high-quality housing and strong links to public services like doctors’ surgeries, schools and transport.
"We look forward to working together with our residents, parish and town councils, and business representatives to bring forward this exciting programme.”