Councils offered £54m to unlock public land for housing

 
Catherine Neilan
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Government Housing Plans Threaten Greenfield Sites
The government has pledged to unlock enough public land to build 160,000 homes by 2020 (Source: Getty)

Local councils are being handed a £54m package to help convert public land into sites suitable for house-building.

DCLG is stumping up a £45m land release fund, which will be combined with a £9m fund made available through One Public Estate - a joint initiative run by the Local Government Authority and Cabinet Office - to help local councils release unused or surplus land for housing.

The funding comes as part of the government's pledge to "unlock" enough council-owned land for at least 160,000 homes by 2020.

Councils can now bid for funding for land remediation and small-scale infrastructure, which will help bring sites forward for housing that would not have otherwise been developed.

By 2020, councils on the programme are expected to deliver £615m in capital receipts, £158m running costs savings, create 44,000 new jobs and release land for 25,000 new homes

Housing and Planning Minister Alok Sharma, said: “To build the homes this country needs, we need to increase the supply of land available to build more homes, more quickly. As a major landowner, local authorities have a crucial role to play in this task.

“Through this innovative cross-government partnership, we will be able to work with councils much more effectively, helping them to meet local housing needs and transform local areas.”

LGA chairman Lord Porter, said: “Councils are committed to building the new homes their communities need and I’m pleased to see the announcement of the Local Authority Land Release Fund as part of this next funding round. It’s great to see two government programmes aligning to offer a more coherent programme to our local communities.”

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