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Tens of millions to clear derelict land for housing

Property developers look set to benefit from a decision to allocate tens of millions of pounds to allow housebuilding on underused and derelict land.

The Government says it is part of its levelling up agenda and the move will regenerate local areas and help people onto the property ladder.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) announced that almost £58 million from the £75 million Brownfield Land Release Fund (BLRF) has been allocated to 53 councils.

The plan would see the demolition of unsightly, derelict buildings and allow the transformation of local communities, according to DLUHC.

The funding could also support up to 17,000 jobs across the housing and construction sector and the wider economy.

Cabinet Office Minister, Lord Agnew said: “This support being provided to local authorities is another clear demonstration of this government’s commitment to levelling up the country.

“The latest projects to benefit from this support, through Brownfield Land Release funding, will not only help unlock under-used public sector sites for homes but also help deliver jobs and save taxpayers’ money.”

Councillor James Jamieson, Local Government Association Chairman, said: “One Public Estate and Brownfield Land Release funding play a crucial role in supporting the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, and supporting councils to transform their assets, create better services, and release land for much-needed new homes and regeneration across the country.”

The Government says it wants to see 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s to put home ownership within reach for more people across the country.

Government figures show that in 2019/20, the total housing stock in England increased by around 244,000 homes. This is around one per cent higher than the year before – and the amount of new homes supplied annually has been growing for several years – but is still lower than the estimated need.

The £57.8 million from the £75 million Brownfield Land Release Fund (BLRF) is being allocated, of which £25 million was made available to self and custom build projects.

The BLRF is delivered by the One Public Estate programme which is a collaboration between DLUHC, the Local Government Association and the Cabinet Office.

As a well-established national programme, OPE works with 72 existing local public sector partnerships, covering combined authority, sub-regional and local authority areas.

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