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The government has announced that the Planning Delivery Fund is now open for bids with an aim of supporting ambitious local authorities and third sector organisations to build more homes.

Initially, they will open up £11 million and councils will be able to apply to help gain the skills and capacity they need to deliver high-quality housing growth at scale.

The fund is aimed at encouraging more innovation in the design quality of new housing developments, as well as provide design advice and support to local authorities.

As part of the plans to hit the ambitious housing supply target of 300,000 each year by 2025, a number of measures to boost local authority planning capacity to encourage councils to take a proactive role in planning have been announced.

Other measures announced include an additional £3 million in funding to support the development of 14 garden villages as part of an existing programme and publishing a consultation on plans to allow the creation of locally led ‘New Town Development Corporations’ and help speed up the delivery of garden towns.

The garden villages due to benefit are:

Garden Village Capacity funding allocation
Welborne, Fareham BC £275,000
Tresham, East Northants DC £275,000
West Carclaze, Cornwall Council £275,000
Long Marston, Stratford-upon-Avon DC £230,000
St Cuthbert’s, Carlisle City Council £275,000
Culm, Mid Devon DC £230,000
Halsnead, Knowsley MBC £230,000
Handforth, East Cheshire DC £188,000
Spitalgate Heath, South Kesteven DC £230,000
Dunton Hills, Brentwood DC £230,000
Longcross, Runnymede DC £230,000
Bailrigg, Lancaster City Council £130,000
Infinity, Derby City Council & South Derbyshire DC £101,000
Oxon Cotswold, West Oxfordshire DC £101,000

Another snappy government initiative in an attempt to grab headlines and while their intentions might be good, the money itself is quite pathetic in the grand scheme of things.

Whilst we argue whether we should pay £40 billion or £50 billion to the EU, such derisory sums supposedly aimed at helping solve our housing crisis are disappointing, to say the least, and to open the fund up to councils and third sector organisations via a Blue Peteresque competition format will only further slow the process.

An additional £3 million for ‘studies and assessments’ of the already existing garden village initiative shows how off the pace the government is. By now they should be laying foundations and to allocate just £100,000-£275,000 to each of a number of garden village schemes is akin to knocking the cost of Phil Hammonds milk bill off of the national deficit.

Russell Quirk

Founder & CEO, eMoov.co.uk