The Garden Community Concept

We are here to answer questions you might have about the Shapley Heath Garden Community project. If we haven’t answered your question here, please send it to us from our Contact us page

What is a Garden Community?

Garden communities have their origins in the British Garden City movement, created by Ebenezer Howard at the start of the 20th century. Howard believed that new towns and cities should have lots of green space. They should be places where people could live, work, raise families and enjoy green spaces. They were a response to the overcrowded, dirty towns and cities that grew rapidly during the industrial revolution. The first Garden Town was built in Letchworth, Hertfordshire in 1903.

A garden community is a new settlement which offers:

  • High-quality homes
  • New jobs
  • Community facilities
  • Attractive green space

They provide the important infrastructure and facilities that people need for the community to thrive:

  • Schools (primary and secondary)
  • Community centres
  • Local shops
  • Medical centres
  • Green and open public spaces
  • Public transport
  • New roads
Why do we need a Garden Community?

A new Garden Community could offer the district a long-term growth option. As well as building new homes, including a sizeable proportion of affordable homes, the Garden Community could also develop job opportunities, attractive green space and public realm areas, transport infrastructure, (including roads, buses, and cycle routes), community infrastructure, schools, community and health centres, and a plan for long-term stewardship of community assets.

Is the title of garden communities misleading if the countryside is being considered for housing?

The idea of garden communities goes back over a century to Ebenezer Howard. We share central government’s belief that well-planned, well-designed, locally-led garden communities can have an important part to play in meeting our housing needs. Howard’s vision of places where people could work, raise families, travel easily, and enjoy green spaces, is just as relevant today as it was over a century ago.

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