Why we are doing this

It has been decades since the UK embarked on a programme of building new settlements.  Although much is known about what makes homes physically and environmentally sustainable, much less is known about the social aspects of what makes communities thrive.

Demand for housing in the UK is still rising.  Yet the economic downturn and upheavals in the public sector means the future of many house building programmes is now uncertain.  Past experience shows when housing demand and financial pressures are high, the social aspects of new towns and communities are often overlooked.

New building in the UK will be set in the context of lessons from the 'new towns' of the past and the regeneration work that has taken place across the country over the last two decades. In addition to this, agencies and organisations involved in developing new settlements will have new concerns to adapt to, particularly in terms of reducing the impact of housing and urban areas on the environment. These agencies will need to balance all these requirements and the specific needs of local residents for many years to come, producing sustainable outcomes for local people in the long term.

This section provides some background information about the legislation and governmental policies driving the creation of new communities. It is intended to provide some context to the activity of communities and practitionersGlossary: are people engaged in an occupation or profession that is involved in planning and delivering settlements building new settlements.