Government announces plans for thousands of new homes around railway stations
Communities secretary Greg Clark has announced plans to build up to 10,000 new homes on railway station sites as part of the government’s plans to solve the housing supply crisis.
The plans have been agreed between the Homes and Communities Agency and Network Rail and will see stations across England to boost local property markets and improve town centres. With expectations that at least 20 local authorities will propose sites for inclusion in the plans, three have already come forward, in York, Taunton and Swindon.
The government plans to use major city projects, such as those successfully undertaken in London, Birmingham and Manchester, as the blueprint for the new schemes, combining experts with top local knowledge with some of the best technical advisors.
Clark says: “We’re determined to fire up communities and back local business so they build much needed housing and create thousands of jobs. Rail stations are a hub of communities, connectivity and commerce and should be making the most of their unique potential to attract investment and opportunities.
“With record numbers of people travelling by train, it makes sense to bring people closer to stations and develop sites that have space for thousands of new homes and offices. This new initiative will bring about a step change in development and ensure we go further and faster in putting these rail sites to good use.”
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin adds: “We are delivering the biggest programme of rail improvements since the Victorian age and have seen the transformation of stations such as Birmingham New Street, Manchester Victoria and London Kings Cross.
“As a one-nation government we are determined to ensure further opportunities are grasped to put stations at the heart of wider community regeneration. This will help deliver thousands of new homes and jobs and deliver a substantial return to the taxpayer.
“I’m pleased to see that exciting visions for regeneration at Swindon, Taunton and York are being developed, with the potential for hundreds of additional homes and new businesses. I look forward to seeing how Network Rail and the Homes and Communities Agency’s excellent work on these projects develop.”
The proposals from the first three areas to back the new scheme are:
- Swindon, Wiltshire – with plans to develop land around the station, which is benefitting already from expansion of the town and the ongoing Great Western Electrification Programme.
- Taunton, Somerset – the site on the edge of the town centre is currently underused, providing opportunities to bring new homes and commercial space via a remodelling of the station.
- York, North Yorkshire – Up to 2,500 new homes (including some as part of the government’s Starter Home Initiative), and around 100,000m² may be supported by the plans, which estimate a £1.16bn boost to the city’s economy.