York, Taunton and Swindon councils all working on plans
Network Rail and the Homes and Communities Agency have agreed to work with local councils on developing land around railway stations to deliver up to 10,000 new properties.
Spearheading the new initiative are York, Swindon and Taunton councils who have all identified railway sites and the government wants at least 17 more councils to develop plans around stations in England.
In York, land at the city’s station could support up to 2,500 homes with 100,000m2 of office and commercial space adding 6,600 jobs and a possible £1.2bn to the local economy.
Regeneration around the station in Swindon, Wiltshire, would form part of the council’s wider plans for the town centre and development of leisure facilities north of the station, while the redevelopment of land around Taunton station is earmarked for both homes and commercial space.
But in order to release land for regeneration, network operator Network Rail will have to satisfy regulator, the Office of Rail and Road, that it will not be required for the railway.
Communities secretary Greg Clark said: “We’re determined to fire up communities and back local business so they build much needed housing and create thousands of jobs. Rail stations are a hub of communities, connectivity and commerce and should be making the most of their unique potential to attract investment and opportunities.
“With record numbers of people travelling by train, it makes sense to bring people closer to stations and develop sites that have space for thousands of new homes and offices.
“This new initiative will bring about a step change in development and ensure we go further and faster in putting these rail sites to good use.”