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23/10/2018

£10m cash boost for London council’s planning teams

Words: Laura Edgar
Funding / iStock-186817598

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has launched a £10 million fund that aims to ‘beef up’ councils’ housing and planning teams to help them build more homes.

Council budgets in London have fallen by 50 per cent in London, which Khan says has prevented housing growth and planning for new council homes.

The Homebuilding Capacity Fund will see council bid for up to £750,000 each to boost housing and planning teams. The money can be used for hiring new staff.

Khan will also consider bids that help to deliver a new generation of council homes, social rented and other affordable homes on small sites, masterplans in areas that have significant growth potential, and optimal density across new residential development in an area.

The fund will work alongside a number of the other schemes that aim to deliver council housing, including a new council-led housing forum, run by Future of London, which will provide technical advice to practitioners involved in council-led delivery of homes.

Khan said progress on meeting housing demand would only be achieved if councils could take a lead in getting new homes built.

“Despite wanting to do far more, councils have been hamstrung by swingeing cuts from government for far too long. My new Homebuilding Capacity Fund won't reverse those cuts – but it will help ambitious councils to enhance their capacity to deliver large-scale new-build programmes.

“I am able to do this thanks to the business rates devolution deal between the capital and central government – giving us more control to spend more money on the things that matter most to Londoners.”

Darren Rodwell, London Councils’ executive member for housing and planning, said: “This support from the mayor will help boost boroughs’ ability to deliver the homes our communities need. It’s a welcome development and boroughs will be keen to make good use of these much-needed resources.”

Image credit | iStock

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