Taunton was named as one of the nation’s new Garden Towns by the Government earlier this year – and an exhibition on what it means for the town is currently running after being launched on Monday (10 July 2017).
Mr Wilkinson met the joint planning team, part of the One Team workforce shared through the successful partnership between Taunton Deane Borough Council and West Somerset Council.
The team, recently highly commended in national awards, laid on a walking tour of Taunton plus a visit to Monkton Heathfield, one of the new Garden Communities.
Councillor Roger Habgood, Taunton Deane Borough Council’s executive member for planning and transport, welcomed Mr Wilkinson and said: “I was delighted that he spent time in our county town and learned about our ambitions as a Garden Town.
“I am very proud that Taunton is one of very few places to be a Garden Town and we are just at the start of our journey. It gives us a once in a lifetime chance to make sure our growth is properly planned and managed to make it sustainable with the environment at the heart of what we do.”
Mr Wilkinson said: “New garden towns in the right places are part of the solution to the housing crisis. Taunton's planners will be critical in ensuring infrastructure is delivered in a co-ordinated way. This is critical for the successful delivery of new development to create great places.”
He also spent time with the joint planning team and said: “I was impressed to see first-hand how effectively planning across Taunton Deane and West Somerset is being managed by a single team.
“Their hard work, professionalism and success is reflected in their achievements – gaining Garden Town status for Taunton, steering two development plans through the adoption process and delivering new housing development supported by a master plan at Monkton Heathfield. Their successful, collaborative approach is to be commended.”
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