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£45m of government money for housing on council land

Words: Laura Edgar
Roundabout construction / Shutterstock_706478752

Housing minister Dominic Raab has announced that £45 million will go towards key community projects to help ‘kick-start’ the building of ‘thousands’ of new homes across England.

A total of 79 projects will receive a share of the money to support the creation of up to 7,280 homes on council-owned land.

The funding comes for the Land Release Fund, and can be used by councils to combat barriers that “would otherwise make land unusable for development”. The government hopes the fund will support councils’ ambition to unlock enough of their own land for at least 16,000 homes by 2020.

The projects include a range of necessary works such as the removal of asbestos, bat alleviation and the relocation of a pelican crossing.

Raab said: “We are investing £45 million to build roads and provide utilities, so councils can release the land to get up to 7,280 new homes built.

“It’s part of our strategy to build the homes Britain needs and carry local communities with us.

“We’re determined to make buying or renting more affordable for young families and those on low or middle incomes.”

The Land Release Fund is being administered through a partnership with the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Cabinet Office’s One Public Estate (OPE) programme.

Projects include:

  • Poulton-Le-Fylde, Lancashire – £1.7 million to build new roads, roundabouts, and utility services, which will unlock up to 330 homes that could potentially be built with Japanese modular housing techniques.
  • Worcester – £750,000 to demolish a leisure centre and undertake asbestos decontamination works near its city centre, helping to unlock up to 50 homes.
  • Paignton, Devon – £1.9 million to build a new 350-metre sewer, drainage upgrades and two new roads, which will help unlock up to 200 homes.
  • Brighton, East Sussex – £335,000 to divert a public sewer and make electricity substation and highways improvements. Up to 30 homes could be delivered as a result.

Félicie Krikler, director at Assael Architecture, said: "It is very positive to see 79 projects being allocated funds to facilitate the build-out of sustainable and well-designed new homes. Council-owned land, not in use and needing remediation offers a great opportunity for this and means that we have a new canvas on which to create new homes."

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