A unique insight into UK New Towns

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by Alex Addyman

Today sees the release of ‘New Towns Act 2015?’ by The Town and Country Planning Association. The report has taken the New Town Development Corporation model, which developed a host of new towns after The Second World War, and updated it for the 21st Century. UK New Towns comprise the most sustained programme of new town development undertaken anywhere in the world and are home to some three million people today.

The Knowledge Exchange has a unique research collection dedicated to the UK New Towns programme which includes over 40 master plans, over 60 key books, articles, items of legislation, white papers and other documents, together with interviews or papers from over 80 key practitioners and academics, over 3000 photographs, a full set of annual reports of the 33 development corporations, specially commissioned maps and full text word search facility.

The New Towns Record provides a unique insight into the UK New Towns, through a vast amount of literature and the personal experiences of those who created and manage, and who live and work in the towns.

Until now, material on the UK New Towns has been scattered and difficult to find. No other single source contains such a comprehensive account of the programme and of the development of the 33 New Towns. The New Towns Record also contains original material.


Key materials

Texts include:

  • Garden Cities of Tomorrow, by Ebenezer Howard
  • Greater London Plan 1944, by Sir Patrick Abercrombie
  • Clyde Valley Regional Plan 1946, by Sir Patrick Abercrombie
  • New Towns After the War, by Sir Fredric Osborn
  • The Building of Satellite Tons, by C B Purdom
  • Final Report of the “Reith Committee”
  • Environmental Planning, 1939-1969 Vol. III, by Prof J B Cullingworth
  • The New Towns Story, by Frank Schaffer
  • The New Town Experience, by Stephen Potter & Ray Thomas
  • New Towns: The British Experience, by Peter Self
  • Aycliffe to Cumbernauld: A Study of Seven New Towns in their Regions, by Ray Thomas
  • New Town, Home Town, the Lessons of Experience, by Colin Ward
  • New Towns, their Origins, Achievements and Progress, by F Osborn & A Whittick
  • British New Towns, A Programme without a Policy, by M Aldridge
  • The Milton Keynes Planning Manual
  • 41 New Town Master Plan Documents


  • Professor John Delafons, Private Secretary to Richard Crossman MP, Minister of Housing and Local Government
  • Professor David Gosling, Architect at Runcorn and Irvine
  • Sir Peter Shepheard, Member of the “Abercrombie” Greater London Plan team
  • Dame Sylvia Crowe, Consultant Landscape Architect to a number of early new towns
  • Lionel Brett (Lord Esher), Master Planner, Hatfield
  • Professor Arthur Ling, Master Planner, Runcorn
  • Professor Nathaniel Lichfield, Economic Planner, Milton Keynes Master Plan
  • Bill MacKay, Road & Traffic Engineer for a number of new towns
  • Richard Phelps, General Manager, Skelmersdale and Central Lancashire Development Corporations
  • Wyndham Thomas, General Manager, Peterborough Development Corporation
  • Lord Campbell, Chairman, Milton Keynes Development Corporation
  • Professor Sir Robert Grieve, Member of the “Abercrombie” Clyde Valley Team
  • George Young, General Manager, East Kilbride Development Corporation
  • Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe, First Master Planner, and designer of Water Garden, Hemel Hempstead

Academics & Commentators

  • Dr Stephen Potter, The Open University
  • Ray Thomas, The Open University
  • Professor J B Cullingworth
  • Dr Stephen Ward, Oxford Brookes University
  • Terence Bendixson, Author and Urban Policy Analyst
  • David Hall, Past Director, Town and Country Planning Association
  • Professor Peter Hall, Author and Professor of Planning
  • Professor David Lock, Former Chief Planning Advisor, Department of the Environment

Original material

  • Specially commissioned overviews on town centres, recreation, environment and landscape, employment, retailing, public transport, roads, public art and social issues for each new town.
  • Questionnaire returns and essays from people who live and work in the new towns.

The New Towns Record is authorised and edited by Idox Information Services.

The New Towns Record is available on DVD or online.

Contact publications@idoxgroup.com for more information or to purchase The New Towns Record.

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