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New cash incentives for home building

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has unveiled new plans to offer cash incentives to local authorities that address ongoing issues of inadequate numbers of housing stock.

Planning minister Nick Boles stated neighbourhoods which proactively vote in favour of new housing developments in their vicinity will be rewarded with 25 per cent of the government's Community Infrastructure Levy for the project.

He said: "This government is determined to persuade communities to accept more house-building by giving them a tangible share of the benefits it brings.

"By undertaking a neighbourhood plan that makes space for new development, communities can secure revenues to make the community more attractive for everyone."

Mr Boles added the cash bonus will be paid directly into the coffers of parish and town councils, with the money to be put to use to enrich the lives of local communities and to provide improvements in amenities and services. In areas which do not have a parish or town council, the funds will still be delivered, but used by the local planning authority instead.

According to the DCLG's figures, more than three quarters (76 per cent) of new builds were built on brownfield sites in 2010. However, the department stated this will not be enough to fulfil future housing needs and therefore the expansion of existing towns and villages should be seen as a priority.

The news follows the recent announcement from the Homes and Communities Agency regarding a new £1.1 million fund for the construction of new affordable homes in Kirklees.

Up to 18 sites across the area are to be targeted by the funding, which aims to address the ongoing shortage of appropriately-priced housing in the region over the coming years.

Stewart Brown, managing director of Heywood Homes - the company tasked with building these new properties - said the project will utilise sustainable building materials from the local area in order to increase its green credentials. 

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