Fund hopes to use public land for housing
Kent County Council is setting up an investment fund to pool public sector land and assets for house building and other developments.
The Kent and Medway investment fund would encourage joint ventures between house builders and local authorities. These should allow more homes to be built by lowering the risk for construction firms.
Kent Council leader Paul Carter said taxpayers would also benefit from the profits generated by these public/private partnerships.
Mr Carter said: ‘Joining together with other public sector providers we can see massive rationalisation and the release of a lot of capital assets for exciting projects, particularly joint ventures between the public and private sectors.
‘This means developers do not have to acquire the land and add to their borrowing costs, which are very restrictive at the moment. It also means the council taxpayers of Kent would benefit directly from any development in the long term.
‘To achieve this we are developing a new Kent and Medway investment fund, which will pool redundant public sector property and land assets and really sweat it to create new homes, new commercial development and a return for the taxpayers of this county.’
Kent is also keen to tap into the government’s £500 million ‘growing places’ infrastructure fund. This is designed to give a boost to stalled infrastructure schemes, allowing work to continue and associated developments – such as housing – to go ahead.
Growing places is still being developed, but councils are being encouraged to work with local enterprise partnerships in their areas to draw up proposals for investment.
Inside Housing is calling for more land to be brought forward for development through our Get on our land campaign