New £18 million housing fund “will help get them built much sooner”

A new £18 million fund to quicken the speed of home building on large sites has today been announced by Housing Minister Gavin Barwell

From today, a ‘capacity fund’ is available for councils to bid for shares of in order to overcome planning issues that may lead to delays and obstruct builders from accessing the site and getting on with work more quickly.

Across large sites in England, the fund aims to speed up the building of up to 800,000 new homes and infrastructure, as well as being part of an extended package of measures to increase the number of homes, much needed in local areas.

Extra measures include:

  • Creation of 6 new Housing Zones which aim to support development on brownfield land to produce 10,000 homes
  • Support and funding from the government for a locally-led Garden Town at Otterpool Park in Kent which aims to produce up to 12,000 homes

Housing Minister, Gavin Barwell commented on the benefit the fund would bring to the country on the whole: “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.

“Furthermore, we are getting behind plans for a new Garden Town which offers a unique opportunity to boost the local economy, jobs and provide new homes in Shepway, Kent.”

Housing Zones

These are brownfield land sites where private developers work alongside councils to produce new homes.

Announced today, the 6 zones aim to deliver almost 10,000 new homes on the sites, all with access to the capacity funding to assist them in making the most out of the developments.

Local authorities will also be invited to submit proposals for new Housing Zone suggestions, as stated by Ministers.

The new zones are as follows:

  • 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

Across the country, there are over 26 Housing Zones which aim to build 44,000 new homes with an extra 31 nominated within London.

Garden Town

The locally-led Garden Town will be built on public sector land as well as land which was previously developed. It aims to produce up to 12,000 new homes as well as other essential facilities such as schools.

As well as this, a further £1.5 million will be provided in order to support Garden Towns and Communities which already exist within Bicester, Basingstoke, Didcot, North Essex and North Northamptonshire.

Investment such as capacity funding can reduce the risk of longer term large-scale projects from stalling, as well as improving the ability for local authorities to move developments forward as well as accessing expertise and resources.

The money will largely be targeted towards large sites of 1,500 units or more as well as Housing Zones, which support brownfield land development. The Home Building fund will also be available to developers to apply for, which will make £3 billion available to house builders.

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