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RTPI: Removal of £150m housing grant will slow recovery

The RTPI has criticised the government’s decision to scrap a housing grant for councils  

A total of £146 million pledged to the Housing and Planning Delivery Grant (HPDG) by the previous Labour Government has now been withdrawn.

Matt Thomson, head of policy at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) said: ‘Cutting the entire Housing and Planning Delivery Grant will hinder councils making plans.

‘The grant has been used by many authorities to increase their ability to engage with communities and undertake research, both of which are key government objectives.

‘It is essential that councils are motivated to produce sound plans. Strong visions are needed for the future of places as an essential part of attracting inward investment for economic recovery.’

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles revealed the funding withdrawal as part of an overall £1.6 billion spending cuts package.

More than £358 million is to be cut at the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG), including £50 million from the Housing Market Renewal Fund and £50 million from the Working Neighbourhoods Fund.

Previously announced funding of £100 million for the National Affordable Housing Programme has also been withdrawn, as has £50 million for the Kickstart project which had also been pledged previously.

A total of £61.4 million has been cut from Department of Transport major projects, while £7.9 million has gone from the urban congestion fund.

Mr Pickles (pictured) said: ‘Steps have been taken to limit the impact on local authorities and make savings proportionally. Councils have been given the flexibility they need to determine where they make savings.’

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