The new Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government has announced £45m of funding for councils across the UK to 'release land' for housing.
On the surface this amount could be seen a drop in the ocean, to deliver the 160,000 homes the government has promised by 2020 will take a much larger investment (this initial fund will release land which could deliver 7,280 homes).
But, the message this first wave of funding sends is positive, that the government will continue to act as an enabler to enable complex or difficult sites to be brought to market.
Interestingly, nearly 50% of the funding has been earmarked for the South West of England, which could suggests it's harder for the private sector to get land up to a suitable standard for development, hence needing a pump of investment from the public sector, or the councils in the region have been ahead of the curve in securing funding through this new route.
The money has been awarded to successful bids for 79 schemes from 41 councils across England. The government estimates the funding could release land for up to 7,280 new homes. It will be spent on a range of remediation measures, including asbestos removal, road alterations and “bat alleviation”, according to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG