Catalogue description Records of the New Towns Division
|Reference:||Division within HLG|
|Title:||Records of the New Towns Division|
Records of the New Towns Division relating to planning and developing new towns and the establishment of development corporations.
General correspondence relating to new towns is in HLG 90. Registered files relating to new towns generally are in HLG 91 and HLG 115, registered files relating to development corporations of particular towns are in HLG 116
Records of the New Towns (Reith) Committee are in HLG 84
Papers of Professor Abercrombie relating to the Greater London Plan are in HLG 85
For records of the Commission for the New Towns se FJ
Records of the Royal Commission on the Distribution of the Population are in HLG 27
|Legal status:||Public Record(s)|
Department of the Environment, New Towns Directorate, 1970-1974
Ministry of Housing and Local Government, New Towns Division, 1951-1964
Ministry of Housing and Local Government, New Towns Division, 1969-1970
Ministry of Housing and Local Government, Planning Divisions, 1951-1970
|Physical description:||4 series|
|Administrative / biographical background:||
New towns, 1940 to 1951
The possibility of building new towns designed to take overspill population from large cities was suggested by the report of the Royal Commission on the Distribution of the Industrial Population (Barlow Commission) in 1940, and definite proposals for a number round London were made by Professor Abercrombie in 1944 (the Greater London Plan). There was also the precedent of garden cities at Letchworth and Welwyn. In 1945 a New Towns Committee was appointed under the chairmanship of Lord Reith, and its report resulted in the New Towns Act 1946.
The act allowed the Minister of Town and Country Planning, after consultation with the local authorities concerned, to designate sites for new towns, and appoint and finance a development corporation for each town. The corporations were to acquire, manage and dispose of land and develop services and housing in the designated areas. They were to act under the supervision of the minister, and though no separate division was established in the ministry to deal with them, one under secretary devoted his whole time to new towns. By the time of the transfer of functions to the Ministry of Local Government and Planning in 1951 twelve new towns had been started, eight near London and four in the provinces.
Ministry of Housing and Local Government, New Towns Division, 1951 to 1970
The Ministry of Housing and Local Government established a separate New Towns Division. The bulk of the division's work was with the various development corporations appointed under the New Towns Act 1946. In the 1950s the ministry concentrated its efforts on general housing problems and the expansion of existing towns through the Town Development Act 1952.
Under the New Towns Act 1959 the Minister of Housing and Local Government was authorised to set up a Commission on New Towns to take over the functions of the development corporations whose purposes had, in his opinion, been achieved or substantially achieved. In the early 1960s a further group of new towns was begun and the New Towns Commission was established in October 1961. In 1964 the division was incorporated within the Planning Divisions but by 1970 had re-emerged as a separate entity.
Have you found an error with this catalogue description? Let us know