Plans to build millions of new homes by allowing towns and cities across England to expand and become garden cities have been revealed.

The drive was announced as the winner of the Wolfson Prize, which is the world’s second-biggest economics accolade after the Nobel Prize.

The recipient of the £250,000 award, David Rudlin, said he believes that growth will be achieved if the UK allows existing population centres to double in size.

Rudlin, who works for urban design specialists URBED, proposed around 86,000 new builds to house about 150,000 people across dozens of UK cities and towns between now and 2050.

Selected locations included Shrewsbury, Durham, York, Rochester and Preston.

Under the plans, settlements would be permitted to bid for garden city status, and development would see them adopting Dutch, German and Scandinavian models characterised by rapid transit systems and green, self-sufficient neighbourhoods.

Around a fifth of the new builds would be affordable homes for families on low incomes. For each plot developed, the same amount of space is to be set aside for gardens and parkland.

Rudlin’s winning bid also included detailed plans to create Uxcester, a garden city modelled on Oxford.

First-time buyers interested in moving into a new build are best advised to seek the guidance of a professional who has studied on a CeMAP training course.

The runner-up of the 2014 Wolfson Economics Prize, which this year attracted more than 270 entries, was a bid from homeless charity Shelter, which proposed plans for a garden city in Kent.

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