£15.8 million announced to boost planning activity in English new home sector

The UK’s Housing Minister has announced new funding to get new home building underway where projects have been stalled by planning.

It is well known that the planning system delays new homes and the Government has itself acknowledged the problems. Now the first wave of a new Planning Delivery Fund has been put in place.

Some £15.8 million will be used to speed up planning decisions but enabling councils to process more applications, implement new reforms and also train planners to tackle housing challenges in their areas.

Housing Minister Dominic Raab said that it will help to deliver quality new homes by supporting local authorities working together on ambitious new joint local plans and core strategies, as well as outlining the locations suitable for new homes where demand is high.

The funding will also support greater best practice and innovation within councils as they decide planning applications, resulting in more being determined over a shorter period of time.

Money awarded to bidders will also allow local authorities to access the latest expertise on design and town planning, driving up the quality of new homes built.

Housing Minister Dominic Raab said:

‘This cash boost ensures councils have the resources needed to make quicker decisions on planning applications, delivering quality housing at a faster rate. It’s part of our strategy to build the homes this country needs whilst also supporting residents to have their say on the kind of development that takes place in their area.’

This first wave of funding has been split into three streams that will assist in delivering new homes across England, namely a Joint Working Fund at £9.4 million, a Design Quality Fund at £4.82 million and a Promoting Innovation Fund at £1.07 million.

A total of 68 projects from Gateshead to Cornwall will receive funding from the Planning Delivery Fund across all three streams until 2017 until 2019.

Raab also pointed out that the fund will give successful councils a greater capability to implement the Government’s reforms of the planning system and comes as the Ministry for Housing prepares to launch its revised National Planning Policy Framework later this spring.

Bath and North East Somerset council will get £310,000 to deliver a new master plan and implement an independent design review, and the London Borough of Hackney some £212,000 to implement new planning applications manager to increase the rate of application decisions being made.

Dudley Metropolitan borough council will receive £570,000 to bring forward a second Black Country Joint Core Strategy and support the development needs of Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority some £950,000 to deliver a new Place Team, create new Mayoral Development Corporations and provide additional resource to deliver investment.


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