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Government shortlists sites for new housing zones

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The government has shortlisted 29 schemes for a share of £200million of loans aimed at kickstarting housing delivery on brownfield land

The Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) will now whittle the list down to 10, which will become the first of its new ‘housing zones’.

The selected sites, all outside of London, will qualify for a share of the loan pot, in addition to other preferential borrowing rates, to pay for infrastructure and site remediation.

Andy Rose, chief executive of regeneration agency the Homes and Communities Agency, said: ‘Housing zones are an opportunity to unlock redundant brownfield land with the potential to provide viable housing developments.’

When contacted by AJ, the department was unwilling to provide details of how many homes in total are covered by schemes on the shortlist.

But it said that most schemes met the criteria outlined in the original bid prospectus, which required projects to contain between 750 and 2,000 homes.

A further £200million from central government has been matched by the mayor for London, which will provide loans to a further 20 schemes in the capital – details of which have not yet been announced.

In addition to the government loans, successful zones will also have access to cheaper borrowing from the Public Works Loan Board, as well as access to planning and technical support from the Advisory Team for Large Applications service run by the HCA.

Separately, the department announced that 37 councils will receive a share of £5 million aimed at helping them bring forward local development orders for projects of at least 1,500 homes on brownfield sites. These orders would be aimed at speeding up planning on the sites.

Originally, the government said it could spread this cash between up to 100 councils.

Housing zone shortlist:

  • Thurrock Thames-Side Towns (Thurrock Council)
  • Elstree Way Corridor (Hertsmere Borough Council)
  • Slyfield Area Regeneration Project (Guildford Borough Council)
  • Suffolk Rural Growth Housing Zone (Babergh and Mid-Suffolk Councils)
  • Greater Gainsborough Housing Zone (West Lindsey District Council)
  • Coseley Housing Zone (Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council)
  • Bescot Friar Park (Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council)
  • Stoke City Centre Renaissance (Stoke City Council)
  • Derby City Housing Zone (Derby City Council)
  • Gedling Colliery (Gedling Borough Council)
  • Harworth, North Nottinghamshire (Bassetlaw District Council)
  • Aire River Growth Corridor (Wakefield Metropolitan District Council)
  • North East Lincolnshire Town Centre Living (North East Lincolnshire Council)
  • York Central Housing Zone (City of York Council)
  • Hoyland and Dearne Valley Housing Zone, Barnsley (Barnsley Metropolitan District Council)
  • Exemplar Neighbourhood (Gateshead Council)
  • Sheffield – Rotherham Don Valley Housing Zone (Sheffield City Council)
  • Preston Housing Zone (Preston City Council)
  • Pennine-Lancashire (Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council)
  • Wirral Waters – North Bank East (Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council)
  • South Bristol HZ (Bristol City Council)
  • Whitehill and Bordon (East Hampshire District Council)
  • Weston Super Mare Town Centre (North Somerset Council)
  • Weston Links/Avoncrest (North Somerset Council)
  • Ashchurch (Tewkesbury Borough Council)
  • Hinkley Housing Zone (Sedgemoor District Council)
  • Former Powerstation Site, Poole (Borough of Poole Council)
  • Foxhill (Bath and North East Somerset Council)
  • Gloucester City Growth Zone (Gloucester City Council)
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