Ministers have announced a new programme to develop railway stations and surrounding land, which they said will deliver thousands of new homes and jobs and boost local growth.
An agreement between Network Rail and the Homes and Communities Agency will see the two agencies working with councils to exploit development opportunities for housing and businesses at railway stations in England.
The Government said the scheme could deliver up to 10,000 new homes on sites around stations and it wants to hear from at least 20 councils to take it forward.
Ministers said the scheme could deliver up to 10,000 homes
Three councils – York, Taunton and Swindon – have already brought forward proposals, having identified railway sites that could be pooled to deliver housing and other regeneration.
Communities secretary Greg Clark said: ‘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.’
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin added: ‘As a one nation government we are determined to ensure further opportunities are grasped to put stations at the heart of wider community regeneration. This will help deliver thousands of new homes and jobs and deliver a substantial return to the taxpayer.’
Ministers cited the recent transformations of Birmingham New Street, Manchester Victoria and London Kings Cross stations and said the Government will bring together technical expertise and local knowledge to increase development opportunities throughout the rail estate.
Proposals for York Central station include up to 2,500 homes and 100,000 square metres of office and commercial space, while regeneration at Taunton station in Somerset could provide an as yet unquantified increase in commercial spaces and homes, alongside remodelling of the station and car park, supported by the Local Growth Fund.
Ministers said the area around Swindon station could boost housing and create commercial opportunities, taking advantage of the benefits brought by the Great Western Electrification Programme and linking with plans to regenerate the town centre.