The launch was announced today by housing and planning minister, Alok Sharma, (pictured) and will be used to provide the successful applicants with the “skills or capacity they need to deliver high quality housing growth at scale, pace and implement wider planning reforms.”
The fund is divided into three categories: the joint working fund, the design quality fund, and the innovation fund. An initial £11m of the fund is open to bids for the financial years 2017-18 to 2018-19.
The Planning Delivery Fund was first announced in the housing white paper published in February 2017, and forms part of the government’s plans to raise housing supply to 300,000 a year on average by the mid-2020s.
“Locally-led developments have enormous potential to deliver the scale and quality of housing growth that we need. By supporting our local authorities, we will be able to unlock more homes where people want to live,” said Sharma.
Other measures announced also include £3m funding to support the delivery of the 14 garden villages that are part of the government’s existing programme, as well as the publication of a consultation on plans to create locally-led New Town Development Corporations and help speed up the delivery of new garden towns.
The government is currently supporting 24 locally-led garden cities, towns and villages, which has the potential to deliver around 220,000 homes.
The programme is already backed by £16m in funding, with the additional £3m going to be invested in funding staff, studies, and assessments.
Garden towns are developments of more than 10,000 homes, while villages are smaller settlements of between 1,500 and 10,000 homes.
New Town Development Corporations also constitute a part of the government’s housing white paper, and are overseen by the local authority or authorities covering the proposed area for a new garden community, as opposed to supervision by Whitehall.
Sharma commented: “These measures including the £28 million of government support which will help develop new communities that will not only help deliver high-quality well-designed homes, but will also bring new jobs and facilities and a boost to local economies.”