£6.2m government boost to help unlock 15,000 new homes in Didcot garden town

Oxfordshire is set to benefit from thousands of new homes and improvements to local transport networks thanks to a £6.2 million government cash injection, Housing Minister Alok Sharma announced today (August 10).

Government funding has been awarded to South Oxfordshire District Council to accelerate the delivery of Didcot’s Northern Perimeter Road – a vital piece of local infrastructure.

As a critical transport link around Didcot, it will be one of the new roads that will be key to the success of Didcot Garden Town, a locally-led development which aims to build over 15,000 homes by 2031.

This funding will help relieve pressure on local transport networks and accommodate the expanding communities in the local area.

The infrastructure investment promises to boost economic growth across the Science Vale and enterprise zone, increasing employment by 20,000 over the next 20 years.

County Councillor Ian Hudspeth, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council said:

“The county council is pleased to see Oxfordshire’s growth ambitions recognised by the funding announcement today (August 10). The Northern Perimeter Road will provide a critical link in and around Didcot and will provide the much needed infrastructure to support the new homes planned for Didcot.

"Oxfordshire County Council looks forward to working in partnership with South Oxfordshire District Council and Lady Grove East developers to ensure the scheme adds to the successful delivery of Didcot Garden Town, ensuring that Oxfordshire continues to be a thriving place to live and work.

“We have a long history of delivering major road schemes and improvements using government money to enable the road network to meet the demands of the future and look forward to starting work on this latest investment in Oxfordshire transport.”

Housing and Planning Minister, Alok Sharma said:

“We need to deliver the right infrastructure in the right places to speed up house building and deliver the homes this country needs.  This £6.2m funding is excellent news for the Oxfordshire area, promising to boost local growth and turbo-charge the delivery of thousands of new homes.”

Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling said:

“We are investing record amounts in improving our roads which will lead to faster journeys, less congestion, more job opportunities and better community links.  The Didcot northern perimeter scheme will benefit motorists and support the vital development of thousands of new homes, boosting the local economy.”

HCA Chief Executive, Nick Walkley said:

“This autumn, the HCA will relaunch as Homes England with the ambition of creating a better housing market. We’re determined to get more homes built now and increase the rate of future development. This development is a fantastic example of how we fund infrastructure which is the vital first step in developing a new garden town, creating a new community and providing much-needed homes and jobs.”

The Government’s Housing White Paper sets out how well-planned, well-designed new communities have a crucial role to play in meeting the country’s long-term housing needs. Across England, Government is supporting the locally-led development of 10 Garden Towns and Cities, as well as 14 Garden Villages.

Good design is at the heart of the plan

Didcot Garden Town’s delivery plan sets out a vision for the development of high quality housing and the transformation of the local area. Good design is at the heart of the plan, prioritising high quality public and green spaces. In keeping with its location at the heart of Oxfordshire’s Science Vale, cutting-edge technology will underpin and enable development.

A mix of affordable and private rented homes will be supported not only by new roads but by a host of other new facilities, including new cycle paths, a leisure centre, new schools, shops and more green spaces. Guided by residents, this development promises to rejuvenate the area whilst retaining the unique character of Didcot town.

The Department for Local Government and Communities (DCLG) has also awarded grant funding for critical infrastructure to drive the delivery of other large-scale housing projects across the country. This includes:

  • £2.6m for the regeneration of Poole Power Station in Dorset;
  • £1.25m to fund infrastructure in the Waterside area of Nottingham; and
  • £9.6m for the development of Parkhurst Urban Village on the Isle of Wight.

Councillor John Cotton, Leader of South Oxfordshire District Council said:

"The district council made a commitment to residents in Didcot that the Garden Town project would deliver infrastructure. So I'm really pleased that we are able to fund the completion of the northern perimeter road - a project that has been sat waiting for years.

“Once completed, the road will relieve pressure elsewhere in the town and provide a real boost to other Garden Town proposals."

Further information

South Oxfordshire and the Vale of the White Horse District Councils have recently finished consulting on their delivery plan. The responses received will now be collated and taken into account as the delivery plan takes shape on the ground. The final plan will be launched in the autumn.

The remainder of the funding required for Didcot’s Northern Perimeter Road will come from contributions secured from developers responsible for nearby housing developments, and additional business rates income from Didcot’s second Enterprise Zone.

Every garden town the government is supporting will provide at least 10,000 new homes, either in high quality new communities or as transformational development, both in nature and in scale, to an existing settlement. The 10 garden towns & cities and 14 garden villages (1,500 to 10,000 new homes) in the government’s programme have the potential to deliver over 200,000 homes.