New Towns Act 1946
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The New Towns Act 1946 (9 & 10 Geo. VI c. 68) was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which allowed the government to designate areas as new towns, and passing development control functions to a Development Corporation. Several new towns were created in the years following its passing. The Act was replaced by the New Towns Act 1965 and, later, the New Towns Act 1981.
In 1945 Lord Reith of Stonehaven was appointed as chair of the government sponsored New Towns Committee. It was set up to consider how best to repair and rebuild urban communities after the ravages of World War II. The committee concluded that there was a need to construct new towns using development corporations supported by central government. The New Towns Act cemented this vision in 1946 and New Towns were born.
The 1946 Act was extensively revised in 1965 and 1981.
The following towns were created under the New Towns Act
- Basildon, Essex
- Bracknell, Berkshire
- Central Lancashire (Preston and Leyland), Lancashire
- Corby, Northamptonshire
- Harlow, Essex
- Hatfield, Hertfordshire
- Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire
- Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire
- Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire
- Newton Aycliffe, County Durham
- Peterlee, County Durham
- Redditch, Worcestershire
- Runcorn, Cheshire
- Skelmersdale, Lancashire
- Stevenage, Hertfordshire
- Telford, Shropshire
- Washington, County Durham
- Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire
- Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire
- East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire
- Glenrothes, Fife
- Irvine, North Ayrshire
- Livingston, West Lothian
- Cwmbran, Monmouthshire
The following towns were expanded on a large scale according to plans brought about from the act.
- Crawley, Sussex, England
- Northampton, Northamptonshire, England
- Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, England
- Warrington, Lancashire, England
21st-century New Towns
The following places are "21st Century New Towns" being created under the Millennium Communities Programme, which is an act similar to the New Towns Act of 1946. The developments are generally smaller than those created under the New Towns Act. They are also referred to as villages rather than towns, however this is more a marketing strategy than any representation of their size, as the areas are generally part of a large urban backdrop. Some of these projects are merely further development of the new towns created as part of the 1946 New Towns Act.
- Allerton Bywater, West Yorkshire, England (expansion of former mining village near Leeds)
- Greenwich Millennium Village, Greater London, England (new high density housing estate)
- Oakgrove Millennium Community, Buckinghamshire, England (expansion of Milton Keynes)
- Telford Millennium Community, Shropshire, England (expansion of Telford)
Holbeck Urban Village in Leeds is a similar redevelopment scheme to the Greenwich Millennium Village, although is not officially part of the Millennium Communities Programme.