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08/12/2016

Funding announced for estate regeneration

Words: Laura Edgar
Estate regeneration / iStock

Communities secretary Sajid Javid has announced a new strategy and more funding to regenerate rundown housing estates.

An additional £32 million of new funding is now available, along with £140 million from the estate regeneration fund.

In January 2016, then Prime Minister David Cameron pledged to transform 100 housing estates in Britain, along with the £140 million fund to start work.

Councils, housing associations and developers can now bid for a share of £172 million and use it to transform local neighbourhoods and deliver “high-quality housing”.

They will also be offered advice on transforming areas from a new national strategy aimed at addressing common challenges that can stop projects – such as resident protection concerns and finding the necessary finance.

The strategy was developed by an independent advisory panel, chaired by Lord Heseltine and housing and planning minister Gavin Barwell, which was launched in February.

Javid said: “Rundown estates offer huge potential to become new thriving communities providing homes, jobs and opportunities and places that work for everyone.

“That’s why we’re determined to ensure the success of regeneration projects through the national strategy to transform the lives of thousands of people by delivering better homes in better estates.”

Lord Heseltine added: “Estate regeneration must be locally led and this strategy sets out blueprints for success, to help guide the progress and provide aspiration for delivering tangible plans.”

The strategy includes guidance that covers resident engagement and protection, good practice, alternative approaches to regeneration and case studies.

Additionally, the strategy recommends using permission in principle, which was established in the Housing and Planning Act 2016, because it “presents an opportunity to substantially de-risk regeneration schemes”.

Ravi Govindia, leader of Wandsworth Council and member of the panel, said: “This guidance, and the funding that government has made available, comes as a major boost to getting schemes off the ground in authorities all over the country, not just in London and the South-East.

“It is clear that local authorities have a significant role to play to ensure that estate regeneration meets local housing need and delivering local growth – and in engaging residents and communities in decisions about their area.”

The estate regeneration national strategy can be found here.

Image credit | iStock

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