Local authorities have less than four weeks to bid for grants from an £18m fund, launched on Friday by minister Gavin Barwell who also confirmed the creation of housing zones in Blackburn, Burnley and Wirral Waters.
The Government is describing the pot as a ‘capacity fund’, to tackle planning issues that can cause delay and prevent builders from getting on site and starting work quickly, with a target of assisting 800,000 homes and infrastructure across large sites in England.
The deadline to apply for the fund is Friday 9 December: click here to view guidance for applications
The launch of the fund coincided with Barwell’s announcement of three housing zones in the North West, which were first mooted by former Prime Minister David Cameron in January 2015.
Housing zones are areas of brownfield land where councils work in partnership with private developers, which the Government said will deliver thousands of new homes with support from the capacity fund.
Ministers have also announced that they intend to invite local authorities to submit proposals for more areas to be designated as housing zones.
Barwell said: “We want to turbo-charge house building on large sites to get the homes built in the places people want to live, so that this country works for everyone, not just the privileged few.
“These sites offer enormous potential to transform brownfield land into new homes and our £18m funding will help get them built much sooner.
“Capacity funding offers crucial investment to prevent large-scale, long-term developments from stalling. It provides local authorities with the capacity to take projects forward and obtain additional resources and expertise.
“It will primarily be aimed at large sites of 1,500 units or more, and housing zones, which support the development of brownfield land.”
There are now more than 26 housing zones across the country.