Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said: “Our efforts to get the country building again are working – housing starts are at their highest since 2007 and climbing. But we need to do more, delivering more homes while at the same time protecting our precious green belt.
“That’s why today I’m taking steps that will help to make enough brownfield land available for 200,000 homes up and down the country, creating the homes and jobs communities want and need.”
Housebuilding is a key part of the government’s long-term economic plan – with starts now at their highest since 2007.
The £4.4 million fund will enable councils to bring forward brownfield sites of 100 homes or more in their area – making it quicker and easier for developers to get work started.
Since 2010 the government has pulled out all the stops to get the country building again – while at the same time keeping in place strong protections for green belt land.
The National Planning Policy Framework makes clear the need to prioritise building on previously-used brownfield land, while new measures make it easier to convert existing commercial, retail and agricultural buildings for residential use.
All this means more than two thirds of all new homes are now built on brownfield sites, while in the year to September planning permission was granted for 240,000 new homes.
But the government wants to go further – and has set a clear ambition to have local development orders granting planning permission for new homes in place on over 90% of suitable brownfield land by 2020.
This will let developers get planning permission quickly – getting workers on site quicker, and homes that communities want built.