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East London housing schemes lose funding

Two regeneration schemes planned for East London have received a major blow after the Homes and Communities Agency cancelled £17.5 million of cash for the housing projects.

Countryside Properties’ plans for 138 homes as part of the regeneration in Canning Town was due to receive £3.2m of funding via the Kickstart programme, while £14.3m was earmarked for Rathbone Market, where the partnership English Cites Fund is planning to provide 181 homes.

However, the London Borough of Newham has been told that the projects will no longer get the cash from the HCA.

The decision is the one of the first since the HCA put funding for 165 Kickstart and Local Authority New Build schemes under review in May when the government cuts its budget by £230m.

Despite the setback, London Borough of Newham said that it was fully committed to making sure that the projects still went ahead and was looking at other ways to pay for them.

A Newham Council spokesperson said: “Due to the cuts made by the coalition government, Kickstart funding for two of the projects in Canning Town and Custom House is no longer available to us.

“We are currently exploring alternative public funding sources. If we cannot secure public funding, we will work tirelessly with all of our partners, including the developers currently involved with each of the projects in this area, to ensure we can still deliver a high quality regeneration programme for Canning Town and Custom House.”

The HCA said that there was still a chance that some funding could be found for the schemes. A spokesman said: “The outcome of the recent HCA London Board is that we will continue to negotiate with Countryside and Affinity Sutton (the lead partners) to seek improved value for money on HCA investment and reach the best decision possible. These discussions are still ongoing between the HCA and Countryside and will continue for the next few weeks.”

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