Recommendation suggests placement between Bicester and Bletchley

The National Infrastructure Commission has proposed a new settlement for 200,000 people along the Cambridge to Oxford corridor via Milton Keynes.

Currently only a recommendation, it would be located in an area between Bicester in Oxfordshire and Bletchley in Milton Keynes.

Last week, chancellor Philip Hammond committed the government to building up to a million homes along the corridor by 2050. A deal had already been struck prior to the Budget to build 100,000 homes in Oxfordshire by 2031.

Some 15,000 homes were built in the corridor last year, but the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) wants to double that to 30,000 each year to deliver on its long-term targets.

Adam Cooper, NIC director of policy and engagement, said: “If the supply chain has confidence that this is a 30-year project and you are going to hit those housing targets every year, there is a lot more opportunity for investment in modular infrastructure.

“These new settlements, including a new town of up to 200,000 residents, have to be well designed with high-quality housing and in places where people want to live and work.”

Transport secretary Chris Grayling had previously said the government was accelerating plans to reopen the rail line from Oxford to Cambridge, at a cost of about £500m.

The news comes as general manager of the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) Paul Morgan said that the new name and remit for the agency could be confirmed in weeks.

In last week’s Budget it was announced that the HCA would be expanded to become Homes England and would include new planning and compulsory purchase order teams. 

“We hope to have the name and new profile for the agency to sit alongside the new agenda before Christmas,” said Morgan.