The Government has released a £300m housing package to support the development of homes in key UK regions – Greater Manchester, Oxfordshire and the west of England.
Greater Manchester is due to receive £68m worth of funding as part of the housing package to support the delivery of 227,220 homes by 2035. This includes £50m for a Land Fund to help councils in the region prepare brownfield land for housing development.
Ministers have also approved a housing deal with Oxfordshire worth £215m, which will help deliver a further 100,000 new homes.
This figure includes £150m to build bridges, roundabouts and roads, and £60m for more than 1,300 affordable homes.
The west of England – covering Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire, and North Somerset – will also receive £3m of funding for specialist support to help the region deliver large housing developments and increase the number of homes built each year from around 4,000 to 7,500.
Local authorities within the regions must keep the Government updated on the progress of developments as part of the deal, and meet key milestones to keep the funding going.
Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, comments on the announcement: “This Government is determined to build the homes this country needs. That’s why we’re working with ambitious areas across England, and backing them with investment and support.
“This new housing investment in Greater Manchester, the west of England and Oxfordshire will help build much-needed homes, giving more people the opportunity to get on the property ladder.”
He adds: “We’re also investing in local infrastructure like schools, roads and hospitals, so that we can help unlock even more new homes in the areas where they’re needed most, and build a Britain fit for the future.”
Is this latest housing package proof that the Conservatives’ plans for boosting housebuilding may be finally coming to fruition?
Neil Knight, the Business Development Director of Spicerhaart Part Exchange & Assisted Move, gives his thoughts: “We are in a housing crisis and need to build at least 250,000 homes a year to keep pace with demand. But, sadly, as a result of the difficulties and costs involved in redeveloping brownfield land for housing, for the past few years, we have seen far too much development on greenfield land and not enough on brownfield sites.
“It is therefore very encouraging that the Government has announced today a £300m housing package to support housing development in Greater Manchester, the west of England and Oxfordshire, with £50m specifically earmarked for helping councils in the Greater Manchester area prepare brownfield land for housing development.”
He believes: “This is a great start, but it is just a drop in the ocean. According to the Campaign to Protect Rural England, there are 17,656 brownfield sites across the UK with enough space to deliver more than a million new homes. We therefore need more incentives like the plans announced today so brownfield sites across the UK can be redeveloped to provide much-needed housing and bring life back to derelict land.”