Government announces £45 million for preparation of land for new homes across England
A £45 million cash injection has been announced by the British Government to support the building of over 7,000 homes in 79 projects on council owned land across England.
The Land Release Fund money will allow councils to unlock land for key community projects with some 7,280 new homes from Newcastle to Plymouth.
Housing Minister Dominic Raab said that the fund aims to help councils unlock enough of land they own for at least 160,000 homes by 2020. The money will be used to combat barriers which would otherwise make land unusable for development.
The fund will pay for a range of necessary works such as asbestos removal and bat alleviation, as well as schemes that will significantly improve quality of life such as essential relocating of a pelican crossing and the building of roads.
‘We are investing £45 million to build roads and provide utilities, so councils can release the land to get up to 7,280 new homes built. We’re determined to make buying or renting more affordable for young families and those on low or middle incomes,’ Raab said.
Examples include Poulton-Le-Fylde in Lancashire where the money will be used to build new roads, roundabouts, and utility services, which will unlock up to 330 homes potentially built with Japanese modular housing techniques. The works will cost £1.7 million.
In Worcester it will be used to demolish a leisure centre and undergo asbestos decontamination works near the city centre, helping to unlock up to 50 homes. The project will cost £750,000.
Some £1.9 million will be used in Paignton, Devon, to build a new sewer, drainage upgrades and two new roads, which will help unlock up to 200 homes while in Brighton, Sussex, £335,000 will be used to divert a public sewer and make electricity substation and highways improvements, leading to the building of 30 new homes.
The Land Release Fund is being administered through a partnership with the Local Government Association and Cabinet Office’s One Public Estate (OPE) programme, which make the best use of council land and resources through practical advice and support.
OPE already works with over 70% of councils in England to transform local communities and services through large scale economic growth, delivering new jobs and new homes.
The Land Release Fund competitively assessed bids from local authorities on value for money, innovation, and the contribution to wider Government housing objectives. A total of 79 bids were successful in the assessment process, which will see £45 million being awarded to 41 authorities.
The fund was oversubscribed with more than £100 million received in funding requests for 143 projects. The successful bids will release land for homes by March 2020.