Housing bonus boost for councils in Lancashire

WINDFALL: Councils are to get a bonus for new homes being built. Below, Coun John Swindells

WINDFALL: Councils are to get a bonus for new homes being built. Below, Coun John Swindells

Councils in Lancashire are due to receive a £16.5 million bonus next year for enabling nearly 9,500 new homes to be built in the county, the government has announced.

Across England, councils have received more than £2 billion through the New Homes Bonus since it was set up in 2011/12 for helping to provide 550,000 more homes.

The allocation for 2014/15 means Lancashire will have received £36.7 million over a four year period for helping to provide 9,490 newly-built homes and conversions, and bringing 2,781 empty homes back into use.

Preston Council is set to receive £861,329 next year, with the Ribble Valley due to be handed £576,563 and South Ribble to be given £590,698.

Coun John Swindells, cabinet member for planning and regulation, said the funding was a key part of the City Deal.

He said: “Preston has rather been stuck because of the lack of infrastructure and roads, so this is the real key to the infrastructure that people will require to build these new houses.”

There are 4,500 new homes set to be built in North West Preston, and Coun Swindells said: “The New Homes Bonus we receive will go towards the infrastructure to support the new homes.

“There’s an ever growing list but we’ve been stuck because we’ve been having to turn down developments because of the lack of roads and getting people to be able to move around.”

Housing Minister Kris Hopkins published details of the latest New Homes Bonus payments being made to England’s 353 councils, in recognition of their contribution to building new homes.

He said: “Top-down regional strategies and eco-towns failed hardworking families who aspired to own their own home, and built nothing but resentment. In stark contrast, councils have received over £2 billion for their part in getting Britain building, and leading to housing construction reaching its highest levels for seven years.

“And they are free to spend the money any way they like to benefit their local communities – whether that’s supporting frontline services, providing new facilities or freezing council tax.”




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