As a Garden Town, we are committed to making Taunton more prosperous and sustainable with better transport links, better services and facilities, and conserving our valuable green space for future generations. Our aim is to ensure that our communities have the very best of both town and country.
The Government’s recent drive to create new Garden Towns is primarily about accelerating the delivery of new homes. The successful bid for Garden Town status describes the creation of three new garden communities at Monkton Heathfield, Staplegrove and Comeytrowe/Trull, and is the result of a collaboration between Taunton Deane Borough Council, Somerset County Council and the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership.
Garden Town status reflects much of the work that Taunton Deane has put into its planning strategy set out in our adopted Core Strategy, Taunton Town Centre Area Action Plan and the recently adopted Site Allocations and Development Management Plan. Our submission is summarised in the Expression of Interest document.
The idea of Garden Towns is not a new one. In 1898, Sir Ebenezer Howard wanted to create places for people to live that had better housing, education and jobs. His vision was for people to live and work in a healthier environment, with access to jobs in town and to be able to farm and enjoy the surrounding rural land.
The idea of conservation remains important today. Taunton’s proposals for housing have been developed while protecting its vital green corridors and links to the wider countryside. High quality open spaces are essential features of the plans, as are improving access to schools and education, better transport infrastructure and enhancing the range and quality of employment opportunities.
The successful bid and positive backing from Government departments enables us to secure direct support of key when creating further funding bids. In some cases it will give us priority when we present our business case in a competitive process.
Taunton is the only Garden Town in the South West. Alongside the delivery of new homes, the Taunton Garden Town also encompasses wider elements that are essential to maintaining a thriving and sustainable community, such as:
Government money has already been awarded as ‘capacity funding’ and will enable the Council to secure additional resources to enable the programme to be driven forward effectively. This will put us in a much stronger position to access capital funding to help deliver Taunton’s Garden Town vision, such as the £2.3billion announced by the Government.
The Council is committed to the delivery of transformational levels of growth and securing high quality development which reflects the principles of the Garden Towns movement. Over the coming years the Council will develop a new Garden Town Plan for Taunton; this Plan will articulate a comprehensive vision for the Town drawing together elements of the previously adopted local plans for Taunton. Just as importantly, the Council will place a strong emphasis on the delivery of the vision through a range of projects.
A full set of ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ can be downloaded here.