Pickles backs garden cities as Legal & General offers funding

Marion Dakers
ERIC Pickles said yesterday that the government is keen to see garden cities built around the green belt of London to try and ease the housing shortage.

Pickles, the coalition’s communities secretary, denied all knowledge of a report that Nick Clegg claimed last week was produced in secret by the department of communities and local government, setting out plans for several garden cities around the M25.

However, he told Sky News that “we probably can produce garden settlements. I think we could maybe produce a garden city or two providing it’s in places that people want it and there are authorities expressing an interest”.

Meanwhile Legal & General repeated that it is willing to help fund construction of new towns.

“Demand far outweighs supply, and if we’re going to tackle this problem we should look at what has worked in the past and see how it can be updated,” boss Nigel Wilson told the Sunday Times.

“If we can bring communities with us and agree planning, we’d like to help build several new towns across the country.”

L&G is already a partner in the English Cities Fund, which is regenerating five inner city sites.