LONG Marston Airfield will be home to a new ‘Garden Village’ as part of Government plans to tackle the country’s severe shortage of housing.
Stratford District Council and developers Cala Homes have been successful in their bid to sign up to the scheme, which will see the area become one of 14 such villages across the country. Stratford saw off stiff competition from 51 other councils to win the bid, which will include government funding.
The new 3,500 home scheme in Long Marston was already included in the council’s Core Strategy – which will shape the future of development in the district to 2031. Cala has already started working on some 400 homes at the site.
But the development will now benefit from access to a £6million fund and additional resources.
The village will include employment land of around 13 hectares – equal to some 16 football pitches – together with a village centre, community facilities, two primary schools and secondary schools.
There will also be some 77 hectares of community space – equivalent to 92 pitches – which will include a country park along with a western relief road to Stratford town centre.
Housing minister Gavin Barwell said: “Long Marston is one of fourteen Garden Villages selected from a total of fifty-one bids we received. These proposals stood out as the strongest against the criteria we had set, including the likelihood of timely progress and accelerated delivery, viability and local demand, and the strength of quality, innovation and design in the proposal.”
Council leader Chris Saint was one of those delighted by the announcement.
He said: “This is fantastic news for Stratford district and for the council. Not only will it support the delivery of this important site identified in the adopted core strategy, but it will ensure the development itself is of the highest quality built to garden village principles consistent with the rural nature of the district.
“Garden Village status will help ensure a vibrant new community at Long Marston Airfield which balances the need for new homes with the provision of necessary infrastructure in a green setting. The success of this bid is a credit to the council and I would like to thank our planning policy officers involved in putting this bid together.”
And Stratford MP Nadhim Zahawi thanked those who worked hard to secure winning the bid.
He said: “I want to pay tribute to those who put together the bid, as it is clear the superior quality of Long Marston’s locally-led proposal was perhaps the defining reason for the funding being allocated to Stratford.
“The Department for Communities and Local Government will now support Stratford District Council in its efforts to develop the new Garden Village in a sustainable manner, particular with regards to ensuring that a strong infrastructure is put in place to make this new community an attractive place to live.”
Other garden villages are set to be created in areas including Cornwall, Oxfordshire, Hampshire, Derby and Lincolnshire.