Lord Matthew Taylor appointed as independent advisor to Fairoaks Garden Village

Fairoaks Garden Village Limited has appointed Lord Matthew Taylor, the author of the Government’s Garden Village policy, to advise their Board on creating a genuinely attractive, sustainable new community. Lord Taylor will also become the inaugural Chair of the Community Trust, should the proposals for the new Garden Village be approved.

The Peer has advised successive governments on planning and housing policy for over a decade and will bring significant expertise to Fairoaks Garden Village.

In 2007 Lord Taylor conducted the Government review of rural housing and planning, ‘Living Working Countryside’, which laid many of the foundations for the Government’s National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and Neighbourhood Planning. Then in 2011-12 he was asked to lead the Government review of all the planning practice guidance sitting behind the NPPF, which led to him creating the National Planning Practice Guidance suite that replaced all the pre-existing government guidance. More recently in 2015 Lord Taylor developed the ‘Garden Village’ initiative as a way to address the housing crisis with better quality more sustainable development, which was adopted by the present Government as national policy. He is visiting Professor of Planning at Plymouth University, and a Senior Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University Planning School.

Lord Taylor

Lord Taylor said, ‘I am delighted to be asked to advise Fairoaks Garden Village. The proposals are not just for homes to meet local needs, but to create a genuine 21st century village with at least as many jobs as homes, new infrastructure and a great range of community shops and facilities - all in an attractive landscape that is almost invisible from surrounding communities. The aim is a sustainable community where people can live, work and play. My role is to help ensure Fairoaks becomes an exemplar of sustainable development and provide the new homes that people are currently unable to rent or buy in this part of the country - instead of adding yet more bland housing estates ruining the edge of existing historic communities, which is the likely alternative to a new settlement.”

Lord Taylor will also become the inaugural Chair to establish the Community Trust should the planning applications for the Garden Village be approved. The Trust is a charitable vehicle that will be set up at the outset with responsibility for community development. The Trust will own the public spaces and community facilities and have its own staff, governed by a board of trustees who will be made up of a range of stakeholders. The Trust will manage the facilities on a daily basis, making sure they are used as effectively and efficiently as they can be, at affordable rates for the local and wider community.

Ian Cox, Managing Director of Fairoaks Garden Village said, ‘It is really important that the Community Trust is viable in the long term, in perpetuity, to make sure the facilities are going to be there, at the quality they were first built and looked after and managed on that basis. I am confident that with Matthew Taylor helping to establish it, the Community Trust will deliver the thriving community we envisage from the beginning and respond to residents’ needs, making sure it is maintained to a high standard for future generations. Lord Taylor brings great expertise in planning and development to Fairoaks Garden Village and we look forward to working with him as we take our proposals forward and resolve the need for new homes in Surrey’.