The UK government has announced that it will give £600m in funding to help deliver infrastructure projects that will unlock an estimated 50,000 homes. Chancellor Sajid Javid revealed on Saturday that the money would be given to five new infrastructure projects across the country that would open up sites for housing development.
The money will come from the Housing Infrastructure Fund, the £5.5bn fund that was launched by Mr Javid in 2017 when he was housing secretary, and is aimed at giving money to local authorities that have plans to increase housing supply but have sites restricted by lack of infrastructure, or land in need of remediation work.
The largest recipient of this round of funding was Essex County Council, which has received £317m to deliver two new infrastructure schemes. This includes £218m for a new train station and bypass near Chelmsford, which aims to unlock 14,000 homes, and £99.9m for a new link road near Colchester, which will unlock 7,500 homes.
Peabody and Enfield Council’s £6bn Meridian Water project will also benefit from the money, with £156m being given to deliver rail works, road infrastructure, land remediation and utilities work for the 10,000-home development.
Central Bedfordshire Council was given £69.6m to deliver new transport infrastructure to unlock 3,000 homes and the Greater London Authority secured £80.8m to go towards rail improvements on the East London line to improve access for 14,000 new homes.
The latest funding takes the amount handed out by the government through the Housing Infrastructure Fund to more than £1.2bn since it was launched, with this money unlocking an estimated 76,500.
The latest round of money has come through the government’s forward funding, aimed at high-cost and high-impact infrastructure schemes that endeavour to unlock a large number of homes.
The other funding stream is the marginal viability stream, which is handed to local authorities to provide the final or missing piece of funding for infrastructure schemes to get additional sites unblocked quickly.
Mr Javid said: “I want to see more homes built in the places people want to live, so more people realise the dream of homeownership. But we need the roads, rail links and schools to support the families living in those homes, which is why I set up a fund to put in place the infrastructure to unlock new homes in these areas. And today I’m announcing hundreds of millions in new investment, helping more people get on the property ladder and allowing more communities to flourish.”
Source – Inside Housing
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