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On This Day: Three new towns proposed for the south-east of England

The South East Study, which estimated England's population would increase by three million by the early 1980s, revealed plans for Milton Keynes, Basingstoke, and Havant.

March 19 1964: This day almost half a century ago saw the blueprint for future Britain revealed, as three new cities were proposed for the south-east of England.

The South East Study, which estimated England's population would increase by three million by the early 1980s, revealed plans for Milton Keynes, Basingstoke, and Havant.

The pioneering study showed a planned overhaul of public transport services in south-east England, as well as the road network.

It estimated that in an area to the south-east of a line drawn from Dorset to the Wash in Lincolnshire, the population would increase from 18 million to 21 million in the two decades up to 1981.


Plans had to be made to accommodate the 350,000 London families who would need re-housing outside the capital.

The building was expected to take place in the 1970s and 80s, with new cities planned near Southampton, Bletchley and Newbury.

Milton Keynes was designated as a new town in 1967, and had a grid system road network built similar to that of various U.S. cities.





At the time it was claimed the new town 'in the rural heart of North Bucks' would eventually be home to 250,000 people.

Havant and Basingstoke already existed before 1964, but their populations significantly increased in the next 20 years after the plans were unveiled.