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Gavin Barwell unveils £18m housing fund

Gavin Barwell MP
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Housing minister Gavin Barwell has launched a £18 million housing fund, garden town and new housing zones aimed at accelerating housebuilding on large sites

Councils will be able to bid for a share of the ’capacity fund’ to help tackle planning issues that prevent builders from getting on site.

According to the government, the money will help accelerate the delivery of up to 800,000 homes as well as infrastructure projects across large sites in England.

Housing minister Gavin Barwell has also unveiled six more housing zones, which aim to boost development on brownfield land and provide 10,000 homes.

In addition, the government will invest in a new locally led garden town at Otterpool Park near Folkestone in Kent for the delivery of up to 12,000 homes.

The garden town will be built on previously developed land and supported by £750,000 from the Capacity Fund to kick-start construction.

The six new housing zones are:

  • Sheffield Housing Zone, South Yorkshire
  • North East Lincolnshire Urban Housing Zone, with sites in Grimsby and Cleethorpes
  • Hoyland-Wombwell Strategic Housing Zone, Barnsley, South Yorkshire
  • Sandwell Housing Zone, Sandwell, West Midlands
  • Pennine-Lancashire Housing Zone, with sites in Blackburn and Burnley
  • Wirral Waters Housing Zone, Merseyside

There are now more than 26 housing zones across the country delivering 44,000 homes, with an additional 31 within London.

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.’

The ’capacity fund’ will be aimed at large sites of 1,500 units or more and housing zones.

Developers will also be able to apply for funding from the recently revamped £3bn Home Building Fund.

It follows defence secretary Michael Fallon’s announcement this week that the Ministry of Defence will be selling 56 sites to help hit its target of releasing enough former MoD land to build 55,000 homes by 2040.

 A white paper further detailing the government’s housing plans is expected to be released later this year. 

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