Grant delays fuel cut fear

Councils are still waiting for confirmation of payments in this year's housing and planning delivery grant, prompting concerns over whether there will be further cuts.

Provisional allocations are usually issued by the government in the summer, with final amounts paid in October. But despite sources close to the DCLG promising that the announcements were imminent in August, nothing has emerged.

Concerns about the future of the grant and how it works have been heightened since the government cut the pot by £75 million, diverting the cash to council housing tenants (Planning, 3 July, p1).

Planning Officers Society president David Hackforth is seeking a meeting with senior DCLG officials. "There is suspicion that the grant could be cut as the government is looking at making savings," he said.

"We are concerned that councils have made assumptions in their budget about getting a certain level of grant. It is an extremely serious situation, compounded by the fact that income from applications is well down."

A DCLG spokeswoman said ministers are still considering the allocations. "The consultation has closed and we are studying the responses before issuing provisional grants for the next year, which will be confirmed in the near future."

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