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Industry welcomes government fund to create housing sites

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Architects and developers have welcomed a government announcement of £45 million to support housebuilding on public land

Housing minister Dominic Raab revealed last week that 79 residential schemes across England would benefit from the Land Release Fund.

Councils will receive cash from the fund to help make the sites suitable for the development of about 7,000 homes. This might include works such as asbestos removal, bat alleviation or relocating pelican crossings.

A plot of land at the Whitehouse Centre in Bristol will receive the most cash at £2.7 million, while a scheme nearby in South Gloucestershire was earmarked for just £20,000.

Assael Architecture director Félicie Krikler said: ‘It is very positive to see 79 projects being allocated funds to facilitate the build-out of sustainable and well-designed new homes.

‘Council-owned land not in use and needing remediation offers a great opportunity for this and means that we have a new canvas on which to create new homes.’

Grant Lipton, co-founder of developer Great Marlborough Estates, added: ‘This is a positive move for house-building.

‘If a publicly owned site is operationally redundant then it makes sense that this should be put towards more productive uses. These measures will facilitate this by providing the backbone of vital infrastructure upon which homes and communities can thrive.’

A spokesman for the Home Builders Federation said the fund was ‘a positive, proactive move that will help local planning authorities bring sites forward for development’.

Housing minister Dominic Raab said the cash was part of the government’s strategy to ‘build the homes Britain needs and carry local communities with us’.

He added: ‘We’re determined to make buying or renting more affordable for young families and those on low or middle incomes.’

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