Updated Feb 3, 2023

Proposed garden village gets £43m funding

Homes England, the Governments housing agency, has announced that it will provide a £43 million investment to help create a new garden village in Darlington. The Burtree Garden Village is aimed to be a sustainable community with 2,000 homes, including affordable housing and accommodation for older people.

Hellens Group, which is leading the 20 year-long project, wants the new garden village to be the leader in how we transform the way we think about and deliver housing.

As well as creating over 2,500 jobs via 200,000 square metres of new employment space, a primary school and a community centre, the project is built on the principles that:

  • a village green, country park and community hub will be at the heart of the community;
  • rural character will be retained through generous green spaces linked to the wider natural environment;
  • the development will support residents to live active and healthy lifestyles;
  • opportunities will be given for local people to grow their own food;
  • open green spaces will be conveniently accessible to all homes;
  • a sustainable urban drainage system will help reduce any flooding impact that the development may have.

Gavin Cordwell-Smith, chief executive of Hellens Group, said "Burtree Garden Village is a ground-breaking partnership between Homes England and Hellens Group, to accelerate housing delivery in one of 43 official Garden Communities across the country.

"Garden villages are essential to the growth of towns like Darlington, not just because they bring much-needed homes, including affordable properties, but because they put beauty and nature at the heart of design and infrastructure – the support of local MP, Peter Gibson, has been invaluable. We are delighted to be working closely with Homes England in delivering this exciting project."

The funding of this project was announced shortly after Natural England unveiled a new blueprint to help towns and cities turn greener. The Green Infrastructure Framework aims to increase the amount of green cover to 40% in urban residential areas. This is in response to the fact that many who live in towns and cities have no access to green spaces within 15 minutes of their homes.

The Framework will contribute to nature recovery by embedding nature into new development through the inclusion of things like parks, green roofs and increased tree cover.