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Councils to get funding for brownfield land development

Words: Laura Edgar
Loan funding / iStock-878953966

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has announced that £57.8 million has been allocated to 53 councils to develop brownfield land.

The money, which comes from the £75 million Brownfield Land Release Fund (BLRF), is to be allocated to regenerating local areas and helping people on to the property ladder.

The department said that “unsightly derelict” buildings can be demolished and disused car parks and garages developed to create “vibrant” communities in which people can live and work. The government believes that this will help to protect the countryside and green spaces.

It is convinced that an extra 5,600 homes could be built on these sites, and that the funding could also support up to 17,000 jobs across the housing and construction sector, as well as the wider economy.

Amongst the councils to receive funding are Broxbourne Borough Council     (£160,000); Fenland District Council (£200,000); Newark and Sherwood District Council (£284,000); Lewisham London Borough (£385,519); Peterborough City Council (£550,000); South Gloucestershire Council (£2,020,000); and City of York Council (£2,640,479).

Levelling-up secretary Michael Gove said: “We are levelling up and backing home ownership in every corner of the country, delivering new high-quality, affordable homes and creating thriving places where people want to live, work and visit.

“Making the most of previously developed land is a government priority and it will help protect our cherished countryside and green spaces.”

The capital committed includes £5 million for self and custom-build projects, and a further £20 million from the BLRF has been designated to aid acceleration of the self and custom-build sector. Councils are now able to bid for this remaining funding.

James Jamieson, chairman at the Local Government Association  (LGA), said: “One Public Estate and Brownfield Land Release Funding play a crucial role in supporting the recovery from the Covid-19 crisis, and supporting councils to transform their assets, create better services, and release land for much-needed new homes and regeneration across the country.

“This latest news is more proof that this programme works. Councils recognise how valuable this support is, and are being ever more ambitious in their ideas to use this funding to kick-start transformation, regeneration, and new development in their communities.”

Victoria Hills, chief executive at the RTPI, said: “Councils should be encouraged by the allocation of £57.8 million from the government’s Brownfield Land Release Fund which will help build much-needed homes across the country.

“But homes alone are not enough to create communities. Projects delivered using these funds must also be supported by necessary infrastructure, such as transport links, which allow communities to thrive.

“The role of local planning authorities will be vital in ensuring that the funds received through this scheme are used effectively to create happy and healthy communities.”

Image credit | iStock