This year has been big for the housing market, with the government backing 14 new garden villages to create a potential 50,000 extra homes at the start of 2017. But what are garden villages and what changes can we expect to see when they’re finished?
To find out more, Arbordeck — a leading supplier of composite decking boards — explores these new housing projects, their regional implications and how they might cause a shift in gardening trends.
What is garden villages?
Garden villages are built away from major cities and towns to create self-contained ‘societies’. Surrounded by green land, they often feature between 1,500 to 10,000 homes and have their own facilities — such as schools, shops and transport stations. In theory, no two garden villages are the same, as they’re allowed to establish their own identity and can be of various sizes with a variety of industry and agricultural facilities within them.
It’s no secret that the British government is looking for various ways to improve the housing situation in the UK. £6 million is anticipated to go towards funding 14 new garden villages and £1.4 million to support three garden towns (which are similar to garden villages, only larger).
At the moment, the government is supporting 17 locations around the country, including places within: Devon, Cumbria, Derbyshire, Lancaster, Hampshire, Merseyside, Oxfordshire, Lincolnshire, Cheshire East, Stratford-on-Avon, East Northants, Essex, Runnymede and Surrey Heath, and Cornwall. Plans are also in place to build garden towns in Aylesbury, Taunton, and Harlow and Gilston, which are expected to provide an extra 200,000 homes.
How garden villages could affect UK regions
Many economic and housing experts are excited about the rise in garden villages. Since these building projects will supply Britain with more than 50,000 homes, we should witness a rise in manual work and job opportunities in these regions, which will help to drive money to several parts of the UK.
But what about the population rises that will occur in pockets of the UK with the arrival of new garden villages? There is a popular misconception that this will put a strain on the resources of current residents nearby, such as school places for their children and obtaining doctor appointments. But, this is not necessarily the case. Garden villages are built with their own facilities, including schools and general practices, so they should instead cause the creation ofmore jobs and facilities in a district rather than put a strain on current services.
However, a point for concern may be the effect garden villages could have on commuting and traffic conditions. Although, this could potentially be controlled if the garden village has its own transport links and roads for commuting in and out of the area.
New garden village residents and outdoor trends to watch out for
Alongside the positive predictions made by economists and professionals in the housing sector, people from the gardening industry are also eagerly anticipating the rise in garden villages. Withpeople moving into new homes featuring plenty of green space, there’s likely to be a need for updating garden furniture and other outdoor products. Here are a few gardening trends we expect to catch on with the creation of more garden villages.
Expect garden furniture to get a retro makeover. We’ll see more natural, traditional materials used for tables and chairs — such as teak and rattan — to create a more rustic look, as well as a rise in woven and crochet techniques for the retro effect.
Sunhouses are ideal for making the most of your garden and creating an extra place for family and friends to get together without having to pay for an expensive house extension. Outdoor buildings infuse your garden with character and are excellent refuges for reading, relaxing and socialising, so these are likely to be a big hit in garden village homes. Typically, these are small and easy to fit into your garden with enough room for a few chairs and a table to unwind with drinks and food.
People moving into garden villages are likely to want to take advantage of their gardens and surrounding greenery — and what better way than with a decked feature? You can create a wonderful place to unwind by placing furniture on your decking and this is an excellent place to enjoy food and drinks in the spring and summer.
Installing a hot tub outside seems like the ultimate garden purchase, but these luxury items are rocketing in popularity even now. In fact, in North Wales, a businessman has even had to double the size of his hot tub showroom this year to keep up with demand! These are a great addition to any garden, especially if you have a rural view of the surrounding countryside.
While some of us love weeding, cutting, planting, and generally keeping our gardens looking beautiful; some of us would prefer to ease the workload — which is why artificial grass is set to increase in demand over the course of the next year. If you’ve decked much of your back garden, you can add colour by creating a small space of artificial grass on the ground level, or putting a full artificial lawn at the front of your home that you don’t have to keep weeding and watering.
It’s not just during the day that we like to spend time in our gardens, if you want to enjoy the outside in the evening, you need decent outdoor illuminations. From Chinese lanterns to LED fairy lights, how you illuminate your garden is going to be in focus in the coming seasons.
The creation of garden villages in the UK is set to shake up both the housing and gardening sectors. Even with the few points for concern, such as a rise in local traffic, this is potentially a huge boost for families, communities and the entire UK economy.