£18m given to councils in England to ‘turbo charge’ home building

The Housing Minister Gavin Barwell has today announced Government funding of £18m is to be offered to Councils in England, which is hoped to speed up the building of up to 800,000 new homes, specifically targeting new homes on large developments.

Local Authorities can bid for a share of what is called the ‘Capacity fund’ to enable them to speed up and tackle issues around planning. The Conservative Government has constantly referred to getting rid of red tape and this is another policy decision heading in this direction.

Mr Barwell said: "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."£18,mto 

Separately they are also creating six new housing zones to support developing 10,000 new houses using brownfield sites around the country. The new housing zones are:

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

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

Government are also supporting and funding for a new locally led ‘Garden Town’ at Otterpool Park, Shepway in Kent, which would deliver up to 12,000 new homes. Mr Barwell states “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.”

Elmhurst recognises the importance of new homes, and we hope that they are built to standards which ensure that the families who purchase them live in energy efficient, warm and cheap to run properties. We would welcome news that sees a road map towards better energy efficiency targets on new build dwellings, as we know the Government ‘scrapped’ the zero carbon standard which was a well documented road map for house builders. What we don’t want to see happen is all these news homes being developed that could have been that much better. 

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