Councils receive £135m to plan homes
Housing minister John Healey has confirmed £135 million of funding for councils that have identified land for homes.
The 2009/10 allocation of the housing and planning delivery grant will be given to 375 authorities that have identified five years worth of suitable sites for housing, and a further 10 years worth for future development.
It is intended to encourage councils to work with partners in the public and private sector to ensure modern, green homes are built where they are needed.
The money comes on top of mainstream funding, and councils can decide how it should be spent. It is the second year of the three-year funding programme, which allocated £100 million in its first year.
Mr Healey said: ‘We are determined to deliver the housing that is needed in order to improve affordability - particularly for first-time buyers, reduce pressure on waiting lists and address overcrowding.
‘While many councils are delivering good quality homes quickly, some are failing to properly identify land for the homes their communities need. Supplying land for housing is vital to securing as much house building as possible during the downturn and for housing development upon the upturn.
‘This incentive will ensure that all councils are taking action now. It will also give the house building industry greater certainty around development proposals.’
The minister also confirmed the first six pilot Planning Performance Agreements for renewable energy and low-carbon schemes. These give extra support to the developers of complex projects, to ensure the planning process runs smoothly.