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Surplus land to create 102,000 homes as Build Now, Pay Later extended

Housing minister Grant Shapps has pledged to extend the ‘Build Now, Pay Later’ scheme to “as many sites as possible” after revealing surplus government land will lead to more than 100,000 new homes.

Government attempts to free up large land banks for developers have seen enough public land identified by different departments to build up to 102,000 homes by 2015.

The public sector owns an estimated 40 per cent of larger sites suitable for development.

The Ministry of Defence led the way, identifying land to be used for more than 37,000 homes, while the Department of Health and Homes and Communities Agency have land where more than 16,000 homes can be built.

Mr Shapps said: “Government is one of the country’s biggest landowners - it’s only right that we make the best use of our assets, and I can’t think of a better use than building the homes this country needs.

“And as this work continues we’ll support developers getting on site quickly, through the innovative Build Now, Pay Later deal. This gives builders access to land they only pay for after the homes are built, laying the foundations for new homes and neighbourhoods right across the country.”

Examples of brownfield and previously used sites set to be released and sold for new homes include:

  • Princess Marina Hospital, Northampton. This NHS site has been sold and has outline planning consent for 550 homes including 12 flats for junior doctors.
  • Foxhill, Bath. The former Ministry of Defence base could provide over 600 homes.
  • Hertford East coal yard. Land in the Department for Transport estate with potential capacity for 50 homes.
  • RAF Brampton, Huntingdonshire. The former Ministry of Defence base could provide up to 400 homes.
  • Leicester Frith Farm, Lady Hay Road, Leicester.Former farm buildings sold by the Department of Health with the potential for conversion and around 10 homes.
  • Long Benton, Newcastle. Land formerly used for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ veterinary investigation centre, will deliver around 50 housing units with a minimum 12 affordable homes.
  • Calvert Lane, Hull Springbank. Part of the Department for Transport estate; could support up to 105 homes.
  • Erskine Barracks, Wilton. The former Ministry of Defence barracks could provide up to 450 homes. 

Mr Shapps unveiled the first six schemes to attain ‘Build Now, Pay Later’ status in March 2011 after the scheme was announced in the 2011 Budget.

They were at Hemel Hempsted; Park Prewett, Basingstoke; Blackwall Reach, Tower Hamlets; Ransome Road, Northampton; Cotgrave, Rushcliffe, Nottinghamshire and Croppings, Lightmoor, Telford.

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