£5 million fund will unlock 100 brownfield sites for new homes

Councils that bring forward brownfield land for development could benefit from a share of £5 million to get work started on the new homes.

Housing development
Councils that bring forward brownfield land for development could benefit from a share of £5 million to get work started on the new homes, under plans announced on 7 August 2014.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said this previously developed land could help pave the way for planning permissions on up to 200,000 new homes across the country.

To qualify for the funding, councils will need to consult on a local development order on the land they identify – making it easier and quicker for developers to get work started.

Unlocking brownfield sites
Applying local development orders is a flexible way to grant planning permission, as they can be used to set out the amount and type of housing that can be built on the sites.

Today’s fund will help get local development orders on brownfield land with up to 100 bids each benefiting from up to £50,000 across this and next year.

Key safeguards will be in place – for example, as with any planning application councils will need to take account of the views of local people, as well as the housing needs of their communities.

There is enough previously developed brownfield land to deliver up to 200,000 new homes – and with housing a key part of the government’s long-term economic plan, ministers are looking for permissions for homes to be in place on more than 90% of this by 2020.

Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis said:

“By investing billions in our affordable housing programme, and launching schemes like Help to Buy, we’ve got Britain building, with housebuilding levels at their highest since 2007.

“But with enough brownfield land available for up to 200,000 homes we can do more. Today’s fund will get local development orders in place on brownfield land across the country, paving the way for more to come forward in the future.”

Getting work started on new homes
In addition to today’s fund, Mr Lewis has also launched a £3 million site capacity fund to get work started on as many as 85 new housing sites where development has been agreed – helping to accelerate up to 25,000 new homes.

Leading developers are also building more as a direct result of the government’s Help to Buy scheme – meaning private housebuilding is up 34% over the past year.

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