A new £25 million Government fund has been launched to help local authorities to deliver the “high quality, well designed homes that this country needs”.
Housing and Planning Minister Alok Sharma has announced that the Planning Delivery Fund is now open for bids and will support “ambitious local authorities and third sector organisations in areas of high housing need” to plan for new homes and infrastructure.
Initially opening up £11 million of the fund, councils will be able to apply to help gain the skills or capacity they need to deliver housing growth at scale, and pace and implement wider planning reforms. The fund is aimed at encouraging more innovation in the design quality of new housing developments, as well as providing design advice and support to local authorities.
As part of the government’s hope to raise housing supply to 300,000 per year on average by the mid-2020s, a package of measure has been announced to boost local authority planning capacity, support councils to take a proactive role in planning and encourage ambition and leadership in the delivery of new communities.
Also announced along with the £25 million Planning Delivery Fund is a consultation on plans to allow the creation of locally led New Town Development Corporations, and help speed up the delivery of new garden towns.
Housing and Planning Minister Alok Sharma said: “Locally-led developments have enormous potential to deliver the scale and quality of housing growth that we need. By supporting our local authorities, we will be able to unlock more homes where people want to live.”
The government’s housing white paper in February 2017 committed to the creation of New Town Development Corporations, which would be overseen by the local authority or authorities covering the area proposed for a new garden community, rather than by Whitehall. Government is now seeking views on this proposal.