Housing minister launches £3 million fund to speed up work
Published by Brian Church for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Local Government
Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis has launched a £3 million fund which he says will help get work started on up to 85 new housing sites where development has been agreed.
The funding will be available to councils across the country to tackle planning issues that can cause delay and prevent builders getting on site. Each council that successfully bids is expected to receive around £50,000 from the fund.
Lewis took the obligatory pop at Labour’s record. "In 2010 we inherited a housing industry in paralysis, where neighbours and developers were at loggerheads, aspiring homeowners couldn’t get on the property ladder and housebuilding levels were at their lowest since the 1920s," he said.
"Since then we’ve got Britain building, not least through our planning reforms to put power in the hands of communities. Now, the challenge is to get work started on sites where development has been agreed as soon as possible. Today’s £3 million fund will do just that, getting work started on as many as 85 sites, creating jobs as well as up to 25,000 new homes."
While Brandon said planning permission was granted on 216,000 new homes in the last year alone, the fund will tackle issues that can slow things down, even when the principle of development has been agreed - like completing financial agreements and signing-off conditions attached to planning permissions.
Councils with the greatest numbers of large housing developments recently agreed will be given priority for the funding, as well as those who can show how they will make each pound go further by enabling faster starts on site.