£18 million fund unveiled to turbocharge housebuilding

A new £18 million fund to speed up housebuilding on large sites has been announced by the Housing Minister Gavin Barwell.

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 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, according to a government statement.

Additional measures include creating 6 new Housing Zones that will support development on brownfield land to provide 10,000 homes; and government support and funding for a new locally-led Garden Town at Otterpool Park, Shepway in Kent which will deliver up to 12,000 new homes.

“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,” said Barwell. “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.

The fund 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 housebuilders.

Housing Zones are areas of brownfield land where councils work in partnership with private developers to deliver thousands of new homes.

The six new zones will help deliver almost 10,000 new homes on brownfield land and all can access the capacity funding to help unlock their full potential.

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

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.

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