ONE QUARTER of housing on sites with 11 or more properties in the Aylesbury Garden Town project must be affordable, the council confirmed.

Buckinghamshire Council has clarified how many new properties earmarked for development as part of ambitious plans to regenerate Aylesbury must be provided “to specified eligible households whose needs are not met by the market”.

Under a masterplan that will ‘green’ the town and see as many as 16,000 new properties go up by 2033, the Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan requires “a minimum of 25 per cent affordable housing on sites of 11 or more dwellings or sites of 0.3 hectares or more”.

Under the UK Government’s own guidelines, affordable housing “includes social rented, affordable rented and intermediate housing”, for those in society whose income is traditionally below the median household income.

Read more: ‘Ambitious’ Aylesbury Garden Town project gets government boost as masterplan approved

Such properties “can be a new-build property or a private sector property that has been purchased for use as an affordable home”, according to GOV.UK.

Bucks Free Press:

However, the council said the “type, size, tenure and location” of the affordable housing is yet to be determined.

Plans to regenerate Aylesbury were approved by the council on June 16, following a £170 million housing infrastructure fund announced by the government in the March budget.

According to a council report, coronavirus increased the need to ensure Aylesbury town centre recovers from the lockdown, making investment in the town centre a priority.

Development of the garden town will include some 16,000 new properties in the next 13 years.

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

This will mean investing in green spaces and habitats, delivering energy-efficient properties, and developing the Aylesbury Gardenway — a corridor of linked local parks, woodlands, playgrounds, community gardens, natural areas, waterways and heritage sites.

The project, set for accomplishment in 2050, is hailed as a “transformational opportunity for Aylesbury to become greener, more resilient and more successful for the benefit of existing and future residents and the environment”, drawing investment to “improve the town’s environment, movement network and economy”.

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The eight key projects which make up the garden town proposal are:

  • Developing a new employment space
  • Regenerating and expanding the town centre
  • Delivering a network of local centres
  • Creating the Aylesbury Gardenway
  • Opening up the town’s ‘forgotten’ waterways
  • Adding a ‘comprehensive’ walking, cycling and wheelchair accessible network
  • Creating an outer link road
  • Developing new neighbours at the edge of Aylesbury

Read more: What is Aylesbury Garden Town?

Buckinghamshire Council cabinet member for planning and enforcement, Warren Whyte, said: “The policy in the emerging Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan sets out a requirement for a minimum of 25 per cent affordable housing on sites of 11 or more dwellings or sites of 0.3 hectares or more. This was a requirement that had been developed by the previous district council in accordance with the relevant government policy and guidance.

“The emerging policy also sets out that the type, size, tenure and location of affordable housing will be agreed with the council in due course.”

Councillor Whyte added: “It should also be noted that around three-quarters of Aylesbury Garden Town sites have already been through the planning process and may have different levels of affordable housing, secured in line with how existing policies were applied.”