Govt gives councils £16.5m to help plan 800,000 new homes


A £16.5m fund to speed up house building on large sites and deliver thousands of new homes has been allocated to local councils.

In all, 98 English local authorities will receive funding to fast track the build out of large sites and housing zones. Communities department DCLG said the schemes could deliver up to 800,000 new homes and provide supporting infrastructure.


The £18m ‘capacity fund’, launched in November, aims to equip councils with the resources and expertise to deliver large-scale housing projects and resolve planning issues that can delay builders getting on site.

Housing and planning minister Gavin Barwell said: ‘To fix our broken housing market, we need to speed up building more homes in the places people want to live.

‘Through this multi-million pound investment, we’re giving councils the tools they need to tackle delays and get builders on site much faster.’

Funding will be used on large sites of 1,500 units or more and Housing Zones, which prioritise the development of brownfield land. The cash could be used to plan new infrastructure, as well as housing.

The DCLG said awards to local authorities will vary based on a range of factors, including deliverability, value for money and strategic criteria, ‘to allow the fund to reach as many areas as possible’.

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) assessed 180 bids from local authorities across England against the priority and assessment criteria as set out in the bidding prospectus.

Ten joint bids were successful, ‘demonstrating excellent value for money and a commitment to sharing services and economies of scale’.

In North Northamptonshire, more than £1m will be spent jointly by five councils to accelerate large-scale developments in their local area. In Greater Nottingham, six councils will work together to use £855,000.

The DCLG said a further £1.5m will benefit local authorities through other housing programmes run by the HCA.


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