Government announces £400 million fund to boost brownfield housing

BUDGET 2020 Chancellor Rishi Sunak today announced a new £400 million fund aimed at creating more homes on brownfield land, as part of a package of Budget measures intended to boost housing delivery.

Brownfield land: new £400m fund
Brownfield land: new £400m fund

The Budget documents said the fund was aimed at "pro-development councils and ambitious mayoral combined authorities". It said the government would shortly invite bids that "are ambitious and represent a significant increase in housing supply on brownfield land".

It added: "The government will consider proposals from areas such as the West Midlands Combined Authority to expand their existing brownfield land fund."

At the time of writing, Planning had been unable to establish the period over which the fund would operate. But the Budget documents showed a spend on it of £95 million in 2020-21.

Other measures include:

  • an additional £9.5 billion for the Affordable Homes Programme, meaning that in total, it will allocate £12.2 billion of grant funding from 2021-22 to build affordable homes across England.
  • confirmation of allocations from the Housing Infrastructure Fund, which is intended to unlock up to 69,620 homes, totalling £1.1 billion for nine different areas, including Manchester, South Sunderland and South Lancaster. The Budget also announced additional housing investments in York Central, Harlow and North Warwickshire totalling £328 million.
  • confirmation of the development of 15 local road upgrades across the country, intended to reduce congestion, improve journey times and unlock housing and employment opportunities in England. These include junction improvements to the A350 trunk road in Wiltshire, a link road connecting Chesterfield to Staveley, and a dual carriageway in Warwickshire.

The government also said it will consult on revising the terms of Public Works Loan Board lending "to ensure local authorities continue to invest in housing, infrastructure and front-line services". To further enable high quality investment by local authorities, the government said it is cutting the interest rates for investment in social housing by one percentage point.


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