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Opportunities for development of new settlements are still there but care must be taken that they are economically,...
Opportunities for development of new settlements are still there but care must be taken that they are economically, socially and environmentally viable, and in line with local development plans, said Housing Minister Sir George Young today.

However, we can still expect most development to take place within urban areas where there is land available for re-use, and existing infrastructure that can be built on, he added.

Launching the report, Alternative Development Patterns: New Settlements, in an address to the Housebuilders Federation Annual Lunch Sir George said: 'New settlements score well for their potential to provide affordable housing and for private funding of infrastructure.

'However, while small may be beautiful, for new settlements it is unsustainable: small settlements perform poorly in environmental terms. Larger new settlements would ensure better performance on economic, social and environmental criteria and enable infrastructure to be provided by the developer.

'Our policy is set out in Planing Policy Guidance note 3. This makes clear that the new settlement option is available, where the continuing expansion of towns and villages would be a less satisfactory method of providing land for new housing.

'I can commend the report to any of you currently considering new settlements as a possibility. But my first advice is to investigate with the local planning authority how it intends to provide for development in the long term. Set out to influence the development plan and influence local people. Without local support such projects are less likely to succeed.'

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