Green issues 1,674 views May 01, 2019
The rise in garden villages

The UK’s media well documents the housing crisis we have dealt with in recent years. However, could the problem be solved by the rise of garden villages? Arbordeck, suppliers of plastic decking, take a look at the regional implications which these villages could have and what these villages could look like for new buyers.

What is a garden village?

The term garden village represents a brownfield land that has been used to create housing for new communities. They are usually smaller projects and can contain from 1,500 to 10,000 homes. Often, garden villages have their own facilities — such as schools, shops and transport stations — which makes this type of living space perfect for families and first-time buyers looking to lead the picture-perfect life.

New communities living here establish their own identity and rules, meaning there is no definitive way to describe garden villages. However, there are a few ways to identify them. They must be a settlement outside of an existing town or city and not closely attached. The British government is currently supporting 17 locations around the country, with £6 million expected 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).

What are the regional implications?

With garden towns and villages supplying Britain with over 50,000 homes, there will be a rise in the need of manual work due to large development projects. This will help to boost the economy, as it will provide people with more jobs in the area.

Also, as people will be buying new homes, these regions will become more populated. 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. However, this is not the case, as garden villages are built with their own facilities including schools and general practices. In turn, this will also create more jobs in the area of development. Garden villages are usually built with their own transport links for easy commuting in and out of the area, although more traffic on the roads could be a problem.

What will these garden villages look like?

Due to garden villages being built on brownfield areas, there will be a lot of greenery in the vicinity of the new builds and this will include garden spaces of their own.  With everything looking brand new, there will be a need for updated garden furniture and other outdoor products — but what are the current trends?

One such trend is the increased popularity of hot tubs, whether you’re renting or buying. Over the past few years, it seems like more and more people are purchasing hot tubs for their gardens. 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.

According to Andrew Hartley, research director at market research company, AMA, garden buildings including sunhouses have “high potential growth” in the industry. Sunhouses are great for maximising your garden space and creating an extra room for your family without having to pay for an expensive house extension. 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. Sunhouses infuse your garden with character and are excellent refuges for reading, relaxing and socialising, so these are ideal for new garden village homes.

Another big trend in gardening currently is having an artificial lawn. Slashing the time we have to spend maintaining our outdoor spaces and beautiful to look at from season to season, fake grass is a high-demand gardening commodity. 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. 

Likewise, lighting is another outdoor feature that’s big for people setting up new homes. From hanging Chinese lanterns between decking posts to placing LED fairy lights into vintage jam jars, how you illuminate your garden is going to be in focus. Speaking of vintage, garden furniture is set to head back in time when it comes to design and textures. 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. Needless to say, garden village homeowners will have a lot of inspiration for their green spaces.

With the rise of garden villages set to alleviate the pressures of the housing crisis in the UK, it’s potentially a huge boost for families, communities and the entire UK economy, even though there are a few points for concern.