The RTB Task Force has been supporting Buckinghamshire Advantage, the delivery arm of Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership (BTVLEP), to bring on serviced plots for custom building on the 1,100 home site.
Aylesbury Woodlands is part of the larger Aylesbury Vale Enterprise Zone, which will include commercial opportunities, transport infrastructure, housing and leisure facilities. Aylesbury itself was awarded Garden Town status in January 2017.
Aylesbury was chosen as the site for the RTB Task Force Expo because of its work with Buckinghamshire Advantage, celebrating the Task Force’s success of its first major working relationship.
Buckinghamshire Advantage confirmed the decisions it made as a result of the Task Force’s support. Richard Harrington, Chief Executive, said: “The Task Force gave us clear and helpful advice, drawing on the UK and international experience of its experts. As a result, our Board has agreed to target 15% custom and self-build housing from the entire output, amounting to 165 plots.”
“Aylesbury Vale is already delivering houses at a phenomenal rate, but we’re very interested in the Government’s take on disrupting the market. This means adding to the volume housebuilders’ output, but diversifying housing supply to do more for our communities and addressing housing affordability. This is where custom build comes in.
“Woodlands is a site where the normal market wouldn’t venture due to viability. This is because there’s no planning context, it’s on a flood plain and also requires primary infrastructure. Effectively it was planning white space, and perfect for a public private partnership, and a chance to do something new.
“Aylesbury is also dominated by SME businesses, so we’re keen to see how the building and custom build SME community join in with the site, offering employment possibilities for local residents.”
Garden communities offers such fantastic scope for custom build as they offer a rare chance at placemaking with homes that reflect people’s needs at their very heart. So it’s great to see the first significant allocation of custom and self-build plots on a Garden Town. It’s a testament to the vision of Aylesbury Vale District Council.
We need more of these larger scale sites to come on board though, to complement the numerous smaller projects delivering such interesting housing. Hopefully this will serve as a blueprint for other Garden Towns, Cities and Villages, ensuring that these developments have diversity built in from the start. Delivered by the people for the people, rather than from the top down by anonymous architects who will never live on the site.