‘AMBITIOUS’ proposals to regenerate Aylesbury received a timely boost from the government earlier this week as plans to move forward with the project were confirmed.

The masterplan and vision for the Aylesbury Garden Town — a project which will see the area transformed in order to ‘green’ the town as 16,000 homes are built by 2033 — were approved by the council on Tuesday (June 16).

This means the authority can now start to deliver the scheme.

EXPLAINED: What is the Aylesbury Garden Town? All you need to know here.

This came as Aylesbury MP Rob Butler stood up in parliament to ask minister Simon Clarke, whose role within the department for housing, communities and local government involves overseeing garden town projects, if the government would confirm funding for the scheme.

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Mr Butler said: “The new Buckinghamshire unitary council has ambitious regeneration plans for Aylesbury which has garden town status with an excellent masterplan already prepared.

“Can my honourable friend confirm funding will still be available from central government for the imaginative and innovative garden town projects that’ll make Aylesbury a place that people want to live, work, visit and invest in long after the coronavirus crisis?”

Simon Clarke responded to the Aylesbury MP.

He said: “Yes I can. Well-planned, well-designed locally-led garden communities will play a vital role in helping to meet this country’s housing need well into the future.

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“As we announced at budget 2020 the government’s demonstrated its support for the Aylesbury Garden Town through a £170 million housing infrastructure fund award, which should help unlock its full potential.”

The funding confirmation was discussed at a meeting of Buckinghamshire Council’s top team, who met virtually on Tuesday to approve the masterplan for the garden town.

READ MORE: Aylesbury news from Bucks Free Press

The garden town's development will come hand-in-hand with the development of around 16,000 Aylesbury new homes in the next 13 years.

Buckinghamshire Council hopes the garden town will help deliver this housing growth in a “high-quality way that benefits the whole town.”

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This means working to address the climate emergency by investing in green spaces and habitats, delivering energy-efficient homes, and developing the Aylesbury Gardenway — a corridor of linked local parks, woodlands, playgrounds, community gardens, natural areas, waterways and heritage sites.

Councillor Bill Chapple, the Aylesbury Garden Town partnership chairman, said: “This started back in 2017 when Aylesbury was awarded Garden Town status.

“The only thing I think I can say has been a constant since then is change.

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“We have had so many changes along the way — whether that be the governance [of the project], the members, the officers, cabinet members, even councils and MPs.

“But this has survived all and come out really strong and I’m very proud of the document.

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“It goes to 2050 and it concentrates a lot around extra blue and extra green — blue being water and green being plantation — to make Aylesbury a much more pleasant town to live in.

“It is a living document — it is going to be refreshed and revised along the way. It will not be left on the shelf to gather dust.”

The cabinet asked councillors Chapple and Bowles about the project after they finished presenting the masterplan.

Patrick Hogan called for more involvement from leisure and culture bosses in the development of the plan, before Angela Macpherson asked if the project's chiefs had developed carbon reduction targets for the town.

Cllr Bowles said no targets had been set yet, but it is something the project's team is "working on."

The council also approved changes to the board of the garden town project, which will mean the group is amended and extended to increase community involvement.