Andy Jarrett discusses public-private joint ventures to create new garden communities

20th June 2019

Andy Jarrett from the Otterpool Park collaboration board explains what joint ventures and garden towns mean for the government’s housing targets.

“With tough Government targets for housing to be met, it is increasingly falling to councils and developers to think about innovative and creative ways to work together to get more homes built. We know that, when done correctly, a joint venture can help regenerate and develop parts of a community that have traditionally been hard to reach or create completely new communities.”

A joint venture brings together the best of the public and private sector, with the members involved sharing their area expertise. They work best when there are shared objectives and effective communication, not just contractual and financial agreements.

Otterpool Park Garden Town has been proposed using these principles. The development has been designed to provide up to 10,000 houses to an area in the Folkestone and Hythe district surrounding a disused racecourse. Designed with approximately 50% green space, if this project goes ahead the first phase will provide 8,500 homes.

Innovation and creativity have been at the core of designing this new town. Future proofing the new town, whilst maintaining the area’s heritage, has been key.

“Otterpool Park’s Garden Town status means it will be characterised by high-quality housing, integrated with large amounts of green space, community facilities and a distinct creative identity.”

The Government’s garden communities programme aims to deliver 200,000 houses by 2050 and Otterpool Park is one of 21 proposed developments, receiving the largest sum of the Government’s funding.

“True place-making is really about asking fundamental questions about what sort of community we want to live in, how we want it to look and feel and what public and private services and infrastructure are required for it to succeed.”

“The way people live and work is changing. Employees want a better work-life balance with the option to both work and play at home. Our vision is to be the exemplar, offering a new garden town that links connectivity to green spaces, homes and flexible working.

“But it can’t just be about beautiful places to live. We are aiming for this garden town to create 8,000 jobs, with more than 75% of those created for existing local residents. These are challenging, but exciting, times.”

This article appeared in full in The MJ, 20 June 2019.