Boost for more starter homes for Lancashire's first time buyers

Lancashire County Council leader County Coun Jennifer MeinLancashire County Council leader County Coun Jennifer Mein
Lancashire County Council leader County Coun Jennifer Mein
Six Lancashire councils are to help spearhead a Government backed new homes initiative which aims to get first time buyers, aged 23 -40, on the property ladder.

Four partnerships - South Ribble Council with Preston City Council and Lancashire County Council, Blackpool Council, Blackburn with Darwen Council and Pendle Council are included in a list of 30 new Starter Homes Land Fund partnerships.

The £1.2bn scheme runs until 2020 and will provide cash to prepare former brownfield sites across England. It’s hoped the partnerships,announced this week will ensure 10,000 new starter homes will be built across England, with building work starting this year.

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But construction will be dependent on either developer interest or funding from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA). Homes must be priced at least 20% below market value and the HCA will judge each potential site on its merits. The Agency recently created a £1.7 billion “accelerated construction” fund to build 15,000 homes on surplus public sector land.

The Lancashire partnerships were selected on their potential for early delivery of schemes. The leader of Lancashire County Council Coun Jenny Mein said: “It’s absolutely welcome and we need more of it. Working with the City Deal we are ahead of the game.”

She said the City Deal partnership, already established with South Ribble and Preston Councils in 2013, meant the trio was well placed to bring forward results, with a previous pledge that 17,500 new homes would be built by 2023 - although not all would be starter homes.

Meanwhile at Preston Council deputy leader Coun John Swindells gave a cautious welcome to the announcement saying: “We still need more details of what of it to know what exactly a 20% market rate discount would look like.”