Eric Pickles today (15 August 2014) announced the first wave of projects to benefit from a £1 billion scheme that will unlock or accelerate the provision of over 200,000 new homes across the country.
The Communities Secretary published a shortlist of 36 large-scale housing projects in line to receive a share of £850 million of funding to get work going onsite and housebuilding started.
Mr Pickles said these projects were critical in getting Britain building, maintaining momentum that has already led to the highest levels of housebuilding since 2007.
The £850 million of funding for shortlisted projects announced today forms part of the government’s £1 billion, 5 year large sites infrastructure programme, and will be used to build the infrastructure needed to provide schemes of at least 1,500 homes. The money will go towards the building of road improvement, schools and parks to support the extra homes being planned.
Housing is a key part of the government’s long term economic plan. The 36 projects announced today will go through a final rigorous due diligence process before receiving the funding.
Sites include the continued development of the Greenwich Peninsula in South East London, which will help provide nearly 10,000 new homes, while funding is also expected to go to Ebbsfleet Eastern Quarry, to help provide 3,500 homes.
Eric Pickles said:
This government’s long-term economic plan is getting Britain building again. Residential construction is now at its highest level since 2007 and continuing to rise, and 216,000 new homes were given planning permission last year.
We are supporting locally-led development, and this £1 billion programme will help unlock or accelerate over 200,000 new homes across the country. This is part of our wider package of housing programmes to support home ownership, increase investment in the private rented sector and further increase house building.
The funding will be available between 2015 and 2020 and will be in the form of a long term loan, with interest - ensuring a fair rate of return for taxpayers.
As well as the £1 billion loan funding, the large sites infrastructure programme also includes £12.5 million capacity funding and expert planning and technical support for councils dealing with large-scale sites, as well as brokerage support from central government to unblock obstacles to development.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, said:
I am delighted that we have been able to put this extra £850 million into building more homes for families across the country. This forms part of the government’s record investment in housing, which has already helped to get 450,000 new homes built over this Parliament, and brought housebuilding back to its highest level for 6 years.
The full shortlist of 36 bids is published today by the Homes and Communities Agency. The projects are:
- the continued development of the Greenwich Peninsula in South East London, to help provide nearly 10,000 homes
- the redevelopment of the former Rugby Radio Station site, to help provide 6,200 homes
- the Monkton Heathfield development outside Taunton, to help provide 4,500 homes
- the DN7 initiative in Doncaster, to help provide over 3,000 new homes
- the Bishop Stortford North development in East Hertfordshire, to help to provide 2,200 homes
- the New Lubbesthorpe development in Leicester, to provide over 4,000 homes
- the development of North Wellingborough, to help provide 3,000 new homes
- the redevelopment of Arborfield Garrison in Wokingham, to help provide 2,000 homes
- the Langarth development in Truro, to help provide 1,500 homes
- the Cheeseman’s Green development in Ashford, to help provide 1,500 homes
- the Dallington Grange development in Northampton, to help provide 3,400 homes
- the development at Lawley Village in Telford, to help provide 2,500 homes
- the Newcourt Urban Extension in Exeter, to help provide over 2,000 homes
- the East Kettering development, to help provide 5,500 homes
- the development at Hunts Grove in Gloucester, to help provide 1,750 homes
- the Barwell development at Hinckley and Bosworth, to help provide 2,500 homes
- the Branston Locks development in East Staffordshire, to help provide 2,500 homes
- the development at the Festival Gardens site in Liverpool, to help provide over 1,500 homes
- the Bath Riverside development, to help provide nearly 1,900 homes
- the Colchester North Growth Area Urban Extension, to help provide 1,600 homes
- the Weston Airfield development in North Somerset, to help provide over 2,500 homes
- Ebbsfleet Valley, to help provide over 3,500 homes – this site forms 1 part of the larger area that the proposed Ebbsfleet Development Corporation would cover as part of the 15,000 home Ebbsfleet Garden City initiative
- Overstone Leys development in Daventry, to help provide 2,000 homes
- the North West Bicester development, to help provide over 5,500 homes
- the Welborne development at Fareham, which will help provide 5,400 homes
- the Middle Deepdale development at Scarborough, which will help provide 2,300 homes
- the Thetford North development in Breckland, to help provide 5,000 homes
- Acton Gardens in Ealing, to help provide over 2,500 homes
- the Lincolnshire Lakes development in Scunthorpe, to help provide 3,500 homes
- the Whitfield development in Dover, to help provide over 5,700 homes
- the Beaulieu development in Chelmsford, to help provide 3,600 homes
- the Bela Priors Hall development in Corby, to help provide nearly 3,000 homes
- the Alphington development near Exeter, to help provide 1,500 homes
- the Wood Wharf development in London, to help provide over 3,000 homes
- the West Witney development in Oxfordshire, to help provide 1,500 homes
The £1 billion large sites infrastructure fund is one part of a wider package of support to get large-scale housing developments back on track. Other support includes:
- a £12.5 million local capacity fund to enable councils to put in place the skills and resources to move major schemes forward through the planning process
- access to expert planning and technical support and advice from an advisory team from the Homes and Communities Agency to help schemes progress from initial idea through to planning consent
- dedicated brokerage support from central government to help resolve barriers that are preventing schemes from moving forward
The government has already helped unlock a range of large-scale sites across the country. These include:
- Sherford near Plymouth, where £32 million government investment is being put towards the road improvements needed to support over 5,000 new homes, schools, shops and communities facilities
- Cranbrook near Exeter where a £20 million injection of funding is enabling the provision of 6,300 new homes and a new railway station
- East Kettering, in Northamptonshire, where £14 million of government investment is funding major infrastructure to unlock phase 1 of a major 5,500 home urban extension