The Autumn Budget 2018 report, issued by chancellor Philip Hammond today, says that £8.5 million of "resource support" will be made available to provide up to 500 parishes with resources and support to use their planning powers to bring forward sites for homes sold at a discount.
The document also says that planning guidance will be updated to strengthen the role of neighbourhood planning and ensure plans approved by local referendums cannot be overruled by local planning authorities.
Planning policy may also be changed in an attempt to give first refusal on homes delivered through neighbourhood planning to buyers with a "direct connection" to the local area.
The announcement was welcomed by campaign group Generation Rent, which said it had called for stronger neighbourhood planning powers as part of a wider programme of initiatives aimed at providing genuinely affordable homes.
Tony Burton, a neighbourhood planning consultant and founder of the charity Civic Voice, said the Budget had recognised the role of neighbourhood planning in delivering ‘local’ housing.