What is the history of Dunton Hills Garden Village?

Dunton Hills Garden Village was designated by Government as one of 17 new garden communities in January 2017. The announcement followed the Council's expression of interest in response to the Locally-Led Garden Villages, Towns and Cities opportunity, led by Homes England. A total of 51 bids were submitted to Government from across the country, with Dunton Hills being one of only 14 garden village schemes selected, with an additional three garden towns.

Selection provides the Council support in terms of status for ongoing discussion with stakeholders, access to expertise through the Homes England, and some capacity funding.

The Council is now working with various stakeholders in the plan-making process to prepare the Masterplan and Supplementary Planning Document, in line with the proposed Brentwood Local Plan strategy to maintain local character, our Borough of Villages, and deliver a 21st Century Garden Village.

What was the previous work with Basildon Borough Council?

Consultation took place in early 2015 on a concept to deliver a potential cross boundary garden suburb at Dunton Hills. This opportunity identified land to the west of Laindon (Basildon Borough) and east of West Horndon (Brentwood Borough) for 4,000 to 6,000 homes together with retail and leisure uses, Gypsy and Traveller pitches, commercial buildings, open spaces, local facilities and improved infrastructure routes.

In November 2014 both Brentwood and Basildon Councils signed a Memorandum of Understanding setting out the initial terms and conditions for joint project arrangements to explore the concept further in accordance with the Duty to Cooperate. Both Councils agreed to prepare a joint consultation document to explore the potential of the project.

Documents that were subject to public consultation can be viewed in the document library. These documents explore the issues, locational merits and constraints of the project. The Statement of Consultation sets out how the consultation was undertaken and what people said.

Following this, the two authorities pursued different development options to meet local needs within each of their boroughs. Brentwood Borough Council decided to consider a self-contained garden village community wholly within Brentwood Borough, which led to the expression of interest to Government (see above “What is the History of Dunton Hills Garden Village?”).

What is a Garden Village?

A standalone development, following principles to create neighbourhoods with housing for all tenures (social, rent and private) with enhanced natural environments, local facilities and infrastructure. The concept does not just relate to the design, but is also about ensuring engagement with local communities from early stages, and aiming for long term local stewardship.

Why is Dunton Hills being considered for such a large scale development?

The strategic site at Dunton Hills Garden Village has been identified separately to other development allocations in order to deliver a significant amount of growth to meet local needs, specifically new homes with supporting jobs and community facilities.  In line with objectives and policies in the Brentwood Local Plan, strategic sites also provide a level of development that achieves the necessary critical mass to bring along supporting services, facilities and infrastructure. Much of the borough’s infrastructure and services are at capacity, and so in order to deliver growth and not over-burden already stretched services, strategic development sites allow us to deliver new communities with supporting facilities.

Will Dunton Hills Garden Village contribute to urban sprawl?

The proposals for a garden village at Dunton Hills would create a new standalone and self-contained village settlement.  Proposals in the Basildon Local Plan process to develop areas near to the borough boundary are being taken into consideration to avoid urban sprawl.

How long will development at Dunton Hills take?

With a proposal of this size it could take a number of years for development to begin. However, it is anticipated that at least 2,770 homes can be delivered within the plan period by 2033, with the remainder being delivered in the next plan period. In total, approximately 4,000 homes will be delivered.

Why can't all of the borough’s housing be delivered at Dunton Hills Garden Village?

The Council is planning for 7,700 new homes over the plan period (2013-2033). Dunton Hills Garden Village has an identified capacity of up to 4,000 homes with a minimum of 2,770 to be delivered in the plan period. Whilst this represents a large amount of the identified need there is still a requirement to ensure the housing needs across the whole borough are addressed and a flexible supply of sites provided. The Council has identified suitable allocations within or adjoining existing settlements across the borough in addition to the new garden village.