New ‘garden villages’ could help pay for a metro system in the city, says mayor James Palmer

Could new 'garden villages' help pay for a metro system in the city? PHOTO: PA / PA Images

Could new 'garden villages' help pay for a metro system in the city? PHOTO: PA / PA Images - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

New “garden villages” could help pay for a metro system in the city, as well as providing an answer to Cambridgeshire’s housing crisis.

Today (May 30) James Palmer, mayor of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, said building new “garden villages” in the county was his favoured option for introducing more housing and helping provide more homes which people can afford.

He said simply “bolting” more houses onto existing communities in a piecemeal way did not work. He also said the new communities could help fund transport projects like an underground metro system in Cambridge.

“I am very much in favour of new garden villages,” said Mr Palmer.

“These garden villages will help fund the underground metro and the light rail out into the county”.


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Speaking at the combined authority’s annual meeting, Mr Palmer said there couldn’t be new jobs in the region without new houses. He said new homes couldn’t “just be bolted onto existing villages”.

Mr Palmer has previously spoken of his hopes to use “land value capture” to raise funds for infrastructure.

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Land value capture would charge housebuilders for constructing homes on the site – raising funds that could be used to push projects, like the metro, forward.

The cost of the metro project has previously been estimated at between £1.2billion and £1.4billion.

The new garden villages could also help provide some of the affordable housing the combined authority wants to provide.

“We will need to make a significant intervention at some stage,” said Mr Palmer.

“If people are on minimum wage, there is no chance they will be able to get on the housing ladder.”

Mr Palmer said he wanted to see more houses being built which could be bought by younger people on lower wages.

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