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Investment boost for brownfield sites

Investment is being offered to councils to help boost the construction of housing on brownfield sites.Local authorities that bring forward such land for development could receive a share of £5 million to ensure work on new homes gets underway.In order to be eligible for the funding, councils must consult on a local development order on the land they identify - making it easier and quicker for developers to get work started.Around 100 bids are expected to benefit from up to £50,000 across this and next year under the government's plans.Enough brownfield land is available for 200,000 new homes and the coalition is aiming for permissions to be in place on over 90 per cent of these sites by 2020.Safeguards will remain in place - councils will be required to ensure plans meet the housing needs of their local communities and will need to take into account the views of existing residents during the planning process.Housing and planning minister Brandon Lewis said house building is now at its highest level since 2007, due to investments in the affordable housing programme and the Help to Buy initiative."But with enough brownfield land available for up to 200,000 homes we can do more. [This] fund will get local development orders in place on brownfield land across the country, paving the way for more to come forward in the future," he added.A £3 million site capacity fund has also been launched to ensure work gets started on as many as 85 new housing sites where development has been agreed. This could help to speed up the delivery of up to 25,000 new homes.The Help to Buy scheme is also acting as a stimulus to construction, with private housebuilding up 34 per cent on the previous year.A number of other initiatives have been set up to boost housing supply, including the builders' finance fund, the large sites infrastructure programme and the local growth fund. 

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