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Bidwells Looks Into the Golden Triangle Proposal

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Now that finding solutions to the UK housing crisis is a top government priority, property consultants Bidwells take a look at the new targets and ask if a standardised approach to house building can work in each region of the Golden Triangle.

The corridor connecting Cambridge, Milton Keynes, and Oxford has the potential to become the UK’s very own Silicon Valley, according to a National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) report. What stands in the way of this achievement is the lack of sufficient and suitable housing. To solve this issue, the government outlined the ambitious plan to build one million homes in the corridor by 2050.

However, the housing markets and the approaches to housing delivery by each local authority along the corridor vary greatly. Cambridge and Oxford have two of the most in demand but least affordable housing markets in the UK, while Milton Keynes has become the fastest growing city in the UK, but it has very little land designated as green belt land. On the other hand, Cambridge and Oxford are surrounded by a green belt, which means that more creative, sustainable ways of meeting the housing need in these cities must be explored.

The corridor, which stretches north and west of the Golden Triangle, incorporates around 3.3 million people, but the housing shortage is a national issue that government is trying to solve with its proposed approach to standardise the methodology used for calculating housing targets.

“The standard approach is too simple and ignores fundamental variables that influence local housing markets, including geographical factors. The proposed approach might actually worsen regional disparities and slow down delivery,” said Divisional Managing Partner of Planning, David Bainbridge.

If not addressed and planned for adequately, the need for investment in infrastructure, both for housing and transport, risks restricting the growth of Milton Keynes, Oxford, and Cambridge. The large pool of talent and businesses that stem from, and flock to, the Golden Triangle may also begin to reconsider the attractiveness of these locations compared to other competitive areas in the UK.

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BDC 318 : Jul 2024