The British Government has launched a £54 million fund to transform local communities and release land for thousands of new homes.
The Land Release Fund is in partnership with the Cabinet Office and Local Government Association’s One Public Estate programme to ensure local councils release some of their unused or surplus land for housing. This will help to meet the ambition to unlock enough council owned land for at least 160,000 homes by 2020.
Councils can now bid for funding for land remediation and small scale infrastructure, which will help bring sites forward for housing that would not have otherwise been developed.
Alongside this, One Public Estate is making £9 million funding available to support more councils to deliver ambitious property focused programmes.
The programme channels funding and support through councils to deliver ambitious property based projects. By 2020, councils on the programme are expected to deliver £615 million in capital receipts, £158 million running costs savings, create 44,000 new jobs and release land for 25,000 new homes.
This partnership between the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and One Public Estate will give local authorities greater access to support from across government and help them to release more land, more efficiently.
‘To build the homes this country needs, we need to increase the supply of land available to build more homes, more quickly. As a major landowner, local authorities have a crucial role to play in this task,’ said Housing and Planning Minister, Alok Sharma.
‘Through this innovative cross Government partnership, we will be able to work with councils much more effectively, helping them to meet local housing needs and transform local areas,’ he added.
OPE already works with over 70% of councils in England to transform local communities and services through large scale economic growth, delivering new jobs and new homes.
Such partnerships also deliver substantial efficiency savings for the taxpayer, joining up public services under one roof and making it easier for communities to access them.
Through this partnership between DCLG, Cabinet Office and the LGA, and the variety of different funds available it is hoped that local authorities will be able to combat multiple barriers to land development and deliver many more homes at a faster pace.