The government has today pledged millions of pounds towards a garden village development in Darlington which will bring 2,000 homes to the area.

Homes England is set to make a £43m investment to enable the development of Burtree Garden Village in Darlington as part of the Government’s Levelling Up plans, after making its pledge today (January 26).

The plans would fund vital infrastructure and see 2,000 new homes built during a 20-year period, as well as a new 200,000 sqm employment space, including a public park, nature reserve, 750 homes.

It will also include new highways, sustainable travel links which will eventually cover almost half of the 307-acre site.

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Councillor Jonathan Dulston, Leader of Darlington Borough Council, said: “Burtree Garden Village reflects this Council’s ambitions for growth.

"With the arrival of the Darlington Economic Campus along with many other exciting investments means the need for high quality housing in a fantastic development is needed more than ever.

“I am so pleased that our partnership work with Homes England has led to such an exciting development which will certainly put Darlington on the map as a place to live for many years to come."

Darlington Borough Council owns 70 acres at the site and all parties will work together to deliver the upfront infrastructure and affordable housing at Burtree.

The first phase of the scheme set to progress through planning this year will include proposals for 750 homes and infrastructure, such as green spaces and transport links.

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Meanwhile, Marie Kiddell, head of planning and enabling for Homes England in the north of England, said she was excited as plans for the site progressed further.

She said: "The funding that Homes England has secured for the Burtree project is vital for the delivery of the Garden Village and the creation of this landscape led mixed use development”.

“We look forward to continuing to work with Hellens and the council in progressing the site through planning and supporting the delivery of much needed new homes in Darlington”.

Peter Gibson, MP for Darlington, said he was happy to see Homes England make such an investment, and was looking forward to the jobs and homes it would bring to the area.

He said: “I am delighted to see Homes England making the necessary investment into the Burtree Garden Village to unlock this exciting new Garden Village, which will provide homes, infrastructure, public amenities and jobs in the Northern part of Darlington, as our town continues to grow.”

Peter Denton, Chief Executive at Homes England, said: “The creation of Burtree Garden Village will play a transformative role in helping Darlington to achieve its significant growth ambitions, and we’re proud to be able to bring it a step closer to reality through funding vital infrastructure works.” 

The formal planning application for the Burtree Garden Village has been submitted to Darlington Borough Council by developer, Hellens Group and Homes England, the government’s housing accelerator.

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.”

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The funding builds on the £446,000 already received through the Government's Garden Communities programme, which helps councils progress long-term housing projects.

Homes England owns just under 307 acres at the Garden Village site, acquired between 2020 and 2022 having entered into a joint venture with local SME developer Hellens Group.

Hellens Group successfully obtained Garden Communities status from the government for the Burtree site in July 2019 and a proposed mixed-use allocation was included within the Darlington Borough Council Local Plan, which was formally adopted in March 2022.