Records created or inherited by the Commission for the New Towns and successors

Details of FJ
Reference:FJ
Title:
Records created or inherited by the Commission for the New Towns and successors
Description:

Records of the Commission for the New Towns, established in 1961 to oversee the development of new towns in England, and records of the Urban Regeneration Agency, established in 1993. The coming together of the two organisations in 1999 created English Partnerships.

Minutes and papers are in FJ 1, registered files in FJ 2, annual reports in FJ 3, files in FJ 4, and Register of Seals in FJ 5.

English Partnerships, library records, are in FJ 6.

English Sites database is in FJ 7.

(Note that some personal files pre-date the creation of the Commission).

For series created for regularly archived websites, please see the separate Websites Division.

Date: 1948-2008
Related Material: A few files of regional offices concerning new towns are in HLG 107
See also Ministry of Housing and Local Government HLG
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Records unless otherwise stated
Language: English
Creator: Commission for the New Towns, 1961-
English Partnerships, 1999-2008
Urban Regeneration Agency, 1993-
Physical description: 10 series
Access conditions: Subject to 30 year closure unless otherwise stated
Immediate source of acquisition: English Partnerships
(from 1994) Commission for the New Towns
Administrative / biographical background:

Commission for the New Towns

The Commission for the New Towns (CNT) was set up under Part II of the New Towns Act 1959 and was launched in October 1961. It was established to manage the property of the New Towns and Urban Development Corporations and Housing Action Trusts transferred to it.

The Commission inherited the work of the new town development corporations, which were appointed by the New Towns Act of 1946 to help the reconstruction process after the Second World War.

The development corporations, established by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government which was responsible for general housing problems and the expansion of existing towns, were empowered to purchase land for new town development. Stevenage was the first designated new town in November 1946; others including Crawley, Hemel Hempstead, Harlow and Welwyn Garden City followed shortly.

The functions of the Commission for the New Towns were to take over the development of new towns from the development corporations, following the completion of initial stages of development, and then to manage the commercial and industrial assets of the new towns. Land purchased by the corporations was transferred to the commission for this purpose; the Commission acted as landowner on behalf of the nation.

In 1979, the powers of the commission were extended to include the selling of industrial and commercial premises, and the completion of outstanding contracts entered into by the Development Corporations. These enhanced objectives, and the powers of disposal of the commission, are defined in the New Towns and Urban Development Act 1985.

In 1999 the Commission for the New Towns (CRT) joined with the Urban Redevelopment Agency (URA) to form English Partnerships, although it remains a separate legal entity.

Urban Regeneration Agency

The Urban Regeneration Agency (URA) was established under Part III of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993. It came into existence and took over City Grant on 10 November 1993, following Parliamentary approval of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 (Commencement and Transitional Provisions No 3) Order 1993. The Agency became fully operational on 1 April 1994 when it took over Derelict Land Grant and English Estates under the provisions of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 (Commencement No 4) Order 1994.

The overall aim of the Agency is to secure the regeneration of areas of need through the reclamation, development or redevelopment of land and buildings. Whilst concentrating on the regeneration of land it will, wherever possible, operate within a broader regeneration network working with local and regional partners, aiming to tackle the problems of an area in the round. Its programme will address the need for land for a variety of purposes, including housing, industrial and commercial premises, the attraction of inward investment, infrastructure, leisure, recreation and environmental impacts.

English Partnerships

English Partnerships was formed in 1999 when the Commission for the New Towns (CNT) merged with the Urban Redevelopment Agency (URA). Its core function is to redevelop urban areas in order to provide affordable housing and sustainable growth. Although CNT and URA trade as English Partnerships, they remained separate legal entities. On 1 December 2008, the powers of English Partnerships passed to a successor body, the new Homes and Communities Agency.

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