Government launches £18m fund to speed up planning

House-Building-Construction-700.jpgThe Government has announced plans for a new £18m fund to speed up house building on large sites.

From today councils can bid for a share of the ‘capacity fund’ to tackle planning issues that can cause delay and prevent builders from getting on site and starting work quickly.

The Government says the money will help accelerate delivery of up to 800,000 homes and infrastructure across large sites in England and is part of a wider package of measures to increase the number of much needed homes in local areas

The package includes six new ‘Housing Zones’ that will support development on brownfield land to provide 10,000 homes.

There will also be funding for a new locally-led Garden Town at Otterpool Park, Shepway in Kent which will deliver up to 12,000 new homes

Housing minister Gavin Barwell says: “We want to turbo-charge house building on large sites to get the homes built in the places people want to live, so that this country works for everyone, not just the privileged few.

“These sites offer enormous potential to transform brownfield land into new homes and our £18 million funding will help get them built much sooner.”

He adds: “Capacity funding offers crucial investment to prevent large-scale, long-term developments from stalling.

“It provides local authorities with the capacity to take projects forward and obtain additional resources and expertise.

“It will primarily be aimed at large sites of 1,500 units or more, and Housing Zones, which support the development of brownfield land.

“Developers will also be able to apply for funding from the Home Building Fund, which is making £3 billion available to house builders.”

The six new Housing Zones are:

  • Sheffield Housing Zone, South Yorkshire
  • North East Lincolnshire Urban Housing Zone, with sites in Grimsby and Cleethorpes
  • Hoyland-Wombwell Strategic Housing Zone, Barnsley, South Yorkshire
  • Sandwell Housing Zone, Sandwell, West Midlands
  • Pennine-Lancashire Housing Zone, with sites in Blackburn and Burnley
  • Wirral Waters Housing Zone, Merseyside

There are now more than 26 Housing Zones across the country which will help deliver 44,000 homes, with an additional 31 designated within London.

Ministers have also announced that they intend to invite local authorities to submit proposals for new areas to be designated as Housing Zones.