England’s 353 councils are to share a £661 million cash boost over the next year as a reward for their housebuilding programmes.
As part of the New Homes Bonus scheme, housing minister Mark Prisk today announced that the grant given to local authorities to support housebuilding is to be boosted by an additional £230m this year.
Over 2012/13, this brings the total spend to £661m, including previously allocated payments. The money can be used as support for frontline services, to provide infrastructure or to keep council tax down.
A CN investigation last month found that council housebuilding budgets were set to rebound by almost 30 per cent in the coming year, although many councils were planning to stop housebuilding altogether.
The provisional allocation of £661m is to be paid in the 2013/14 financial year, and brings the total paid to councils through the New Homes Bonus to £1.3 billion since it was launched in April 2011.
Mr Prisk said: “For years, developers found themselves at loggerheads with communities unconvinced that their plans for growth would benefit them. But the New Homes Bonus is turning this around.
“The £1.3bn paid out to councils to date has meant that now local people are able to see the rewards of new developments in their area, paving the way for thousands of much-needed, locally supported homes to be delivered across the country.”
Councils that have used the New Homes Bonus for new developments include North Tyneside, Warwick and Uttlseford District.