Prime Minister David Cameron mentions Letchworth in pre-Budget speech

PRIME Minister David Cameron has spoken of applying the “principles of garden cities” to housing developments, citing Letchworth GC as a “popular” place to live.

Mr Cameron mentioned the town - which became the world’s first garden city in 1903 - as part of his pre-Budget speech today (Monday).

He said: “Some people feel we’ve lost the art of creating great places with the right social and environmental infrastructure. Certainly, mistakes were made in the new towns, with the state deciding arrogantly what people ought to like.

“But in the last century, private and social enterprise also created places like Hampstead Garden Suburb, Letchworth and Welwyn Garden City - not perfect, but popular - green, planned, secure, with gardens, places to play and characterful houses; not just car-dominated concrete grids.

“Yes we need more housing, but sprawling over the countryside isn’t the answer. We absolutely must protect our Green Belts and national parks. But we also urgently need to find places where we are prepared to allow significant new growth to happen.

“That’s why we will begin consultation later this year on how to apply the principles of garden cities to areas with high potential growth, in places people want to live.”

Responding, John Lewis, chief executive of Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation, said: “The Prime Minister is spot on with his comments. Letchworth is a great model which brings together the benefits of both town life and the countryside. Letchworth enjoys a good mix of places to work, interesting housing and green open spaces, so you can see why towns of this nature have been replicated worldwide.”