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New towns in the United Kingdom

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Title: New towns in the United Kingdom  
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Subject: Humfrey Gale, Relocation of Wimbledon F.C. to Milton Keynes, Primary schools in Dacorum, Cumbernauld, Skelmersdale
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New towns in the United Kingdom

Welwyn Garden City, one of the early new towns

Below is a list of some of the new towns in the United Kingdom created in the 20th century under the various New Town Acts. Some earlier towns were developed as garden cities or overspill estates early in the 20th century. The new towns proper were planned under the powers of the New Towns Act 1946 and later acts to disperse population following the Second World War. They were not completely new, but developed around historic cores. Later developments included the expanded towns: existing towns which were substantially expanded to accommodate the overspill population from the cities.

Designated new towns were removed from local authority control and placed under the supervision of a development corporation. These corporations were later disbanded and their assets split between local authorities and, in England, the Commission for New Towns (later English Partnerships).

Garden cities

Overspill estates


First wave

Animated film by the Central Office of Information about postwar new towns and their planning

The first wave was intended to help alleviate the housing shortages following the Second World War, beyond the green belt around London. A couple of sites in County Durham were also designated. These designations were made under the New Towns Act 1946.

Second wave

The town of Telford (formerly Dawley New Town) was created from a number of smaller towns which were joined together around a central service area.

The second wave (1961–64) was likewise initiated to alleviate housing shortfalls. Two of the locations below (Redditch and Dawley New Town — later renamed Telford) are situated near the West Midlands conurbation; another two (Runcorn and Skelmersdale) are near Merseyside and were intended as overspill for the city of Liverpool.

Many towns such as Cramlington, Killingworth, and Tamworth were expanded from the 1960s by local authorities, but were not designated new towns.

Third wave

New Town architecture in Peterborough

The third and last wave of new towns (1967–70) allowed for additional growth chiefly further north from the previous London new towns, with a few developments between Liverpool and Manchester, namely "Central Lancashire" and Warrington. Dawley New Town was redesignated as Telford New Town, with a much larger area, as overspill for Birmingham and nearby towns including Wolverhampton. About halfway between Birmingham and London was the new town of Milton Keynes, while nearer to Birmingham, the existing town of Northampton was expanded. In East Anglia, the existing town of Peterborough was designated as a new town to accommodate overspill from London.

Modern developments

No new towns have been formally designated since 1970, but several new towns (in the literal sense) have been founded:

Future developments

On 13 May 2007, Gordon Brown, who was shortly to become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, announced he would designate 10 new "eco-towns" to ease demand for low-cost housing. The towns, around 20,000 population each—at least 5,000 homes—are planned to be "carbon-neutral" and will use locally generated sustainable-energy sources. Only one site was identified in the announcement: the former Oakington Barracks in Cambridgeshire - the already planned Northstowe development. Local councils will be invited to provide sites for the remaining four towns.[22]

The Town and Country Planning Association is advising the government on the criteria and best practice in developing the eco-towns by producing a series of "worksheets" for developers.

In September 2014 the CBI called for all political parties to commit to building 10 new towns and garden cities to get to grips with the country's housing shortage.[23]


Modern developments


Modern developments

Future developments

  • An Camas Mor - new settlement proposed in the Cairngorms National Park
  • Blindwells - new settlement proposed adjacent to Tranent in East Lothian
  • Calderwell - new settlement proposed adjacent to East Calder and Livingston in West Lothian
  • Durieshill - new settlement proposed in Stirling Council area adjacent to Plean
  • Forestmill - new settlement proposed in Clackmannanshire in close proximity to the Fife Council administrative boundary
  • Oudenarde - new settlement proposed adjacent to the Bridge of Earn in Perthshire
  • Owenstown - new settlement proposed in the South Lanarkshire area to the south of Lanark
  • Shawfair - new settlement proposed in SE Edinburgh spanning the City of Edinburgh Council and Midlothian Council administrative boundaries
  • Tornagrain - new settlement proposed to the south of Inverness Airport in the Highland Council area

Northern Ireland

The New Towns Act (Northern Ireland) 1965 gave the Minister of Development of the Government of Northern Ireland the power to designate an area as a new town, and to appoint a development commission. An order could be made to transfer municipal functions of all or part of any existing local authorities to the commission, which took the additional title of urban district council, although unelected. This was done in the case of Craigavon.

The New Towns Amendment Act (Northern Ireland) 1968 was passed to enable the establishment of the Londonderry Development Commission to replace the County Borough and rural district of Londonderry, and implement the Londonderry Area Plan. On 3 April 1969, the development commission took over the municipal functions of the two councils, the area becoming Londonderry Urban District.

See also


  1. ^ The London Gazette: no. 37785. p. 5536. 12 November 1946. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  2. ^ The London Gazette: no. 37849. p. 231. 10 January 1947. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  3. ^ The London Gazette: no. 37875. p. 664. 7 February 1947. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  4. ^ The London Gazette: no. 37918. p. 1451. 28 March 1947. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  5. ^ The London Gazette: no. 37940. p. 1858. 25 April 1947. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  6. ^ The London Gazette: no. 38235. p. 1819. 12 March 1948. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  7. ^ The London Gazette: no. 38299. p. 3136. 25 May 1948. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  8. ^ The London Gazette: no. 38507. p. 145. 7 January 1949. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  9. ^ The London Gazette: no. 38647. p. 3078. 21 June 1949. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  10. ^ The London Gazette: no. 38878. p. 1671. 4 April 1950. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  11. ^ The London Gazette: no. 42484. p. 7296. 10 October 1961. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  12. ^ The London Gazette: no. 42898. p. 589. 18 January 1963. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  13. ^ The London Gazette: no. 43296. p. 3202. 14 April 1964. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  14. ^ The London Gazette: no. 43296. p. 3201. 14 April 1964. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  15. ^ The London Gazette: no. 43394. p. 6416. 28 July 1964. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  16. ^ The London Gazette: no. 44233. p. 827. 24 January 1967. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  17. ^ The London Gazette: no. 44377. p. 8515. 1 August 1967. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  18. ^ The London Gazette: no. 44529. pp. 2088–2089. 20 February 1968. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  19. ^ The London Gazette: no. 44576. p. 4907. 30 April 1968. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  20. ^ The London Gazette: no. 44735. p. 13433. 13 December 1968. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  21. ^ The London Gazette: no. 45079. p. 4187. 14 April 1970. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  22. ^ Brown to build ten eco towns, The Times Online, 13 May 2007
  23. ^ CBI Calls For 10 New Towns and Garden Cities
  24. ^ The London Gazette: no. 38756. p. 5318. 8 November 1949. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  25. ^ The London Gazette: no. 44482. p. 14168. 28 December 1967. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  26. ^ The Edinburgh Gazette: no. 17351. p. 746. 13 December 1955. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  27. ^ The Edinburgh Gazette: no. 19218. p. 398. 19 March 1973. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  28. ^ The Edinburgh Gazette: no. 16436. p. 189. 9 May 1947. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  29. ^ The Edinburgh Gazette: no. 16556. pp. 299–300. 2 July 1948. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  30. ^ The Edinburgh Gazette: no. 18509. p. 846. 11 November 1966. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  31. ^ The Edinburgh Gazette: no. 18025. pp. 236–237. 17 April 1962. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  32. ^ The Edinburgh Gazette: no. 19294. p. 951. 14 August 1973. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  33. ^ The Belfast Gazette: no. 2317. p. 274. 6 August 1965. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  34. ^ [1] A commentary by the Government of Northern Ireland to accompany the Cameron Report incorporating an account of progress and a programme of action (CAIN web service)
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