Government gives new homes green light and pledges £1.3bn infrastructure investment
Tens of thousands of new homes and other infrastructure projects have been given the green light by the government, with nearly £1.3bn of investment confirmed by Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick (pictured).
This is part of the government’s plan to deliver upgrades to local infrastructure and fuel a green economic recovery.
More than 300 successful projects in England will receive a share of the £900m Getting Building Fund, announced by the Prime Minister in June, to invest in shovel-ready housing and infrastructure projects.
The investment is expected to deliver up to 45,000 homes, create up to 85,000 jobs and reduce around 65 million kgs of CO2 emissions across England.
Successful projects being funded include £23m for phase 1 of the development of commercial space at Mayfield Park in Greater Manchester.
£14.88m to accelerate the National Brownfield Land Institute, a project aiming to create a leader in sustainable construction which will support the housing deal and drive levelling up across the region.
To deliver a further 26,000 new homes while protecting greenfield sites, the government has also confirmed a £360m investment in Mayoral Combined Authority areas through its £400m Brownfield Fund.
A further £8m of funding has also been announced to help speed up the delivery of these new homes on brownfield sites and the government is inviting ambitious bids from the Mayoral Combined Authorities for the remaining £40m of the fund.
Details of the new £2bn Green Homes Grant scheme, which will see the government fund up to two-thirds of the cost of home improvements of over 600,000 homes, have also been announced.
Tradespeople must register for TrustMark accreditation to take part in the scheme, which will cover green home improvements ranging from insulation of walls, floors and roofs, to the installation of low-carbon heating, like heat pumps or solar thermal.
Households on low income can receive vouchers covering 100% of the cost of the improvements, up to a maximum of £10,000.
The funding commitments come ahead of a radical overhaul of the planning system due to be announced shortly.
As part of the changes, developers will have to contribute fairly to the infrastructure needed to sustain communities, ensure designs keep in with local character and work as part of an interactive online planning system.
Jenrick said: “As we get Britain building we are also laying the foundations for a green economic recovery by investing in vital infrastructure for local communities, creating jobs and building environmentally-friendly homes with a huge £1.3 billion investment announced today.
“This government is determined to level up all parts of the country and this funding will not only give a much needed boost to our economic recovery, it will help build the good quality, affordable homes the country needs.”
Business and Energy Secretary Alok Sharma said: “Green home improvements will save people money on their energy bills, help to cut carbon emissions, and create new work for many thousands of builders, plumbers and other tradespeople.
“Our TrustMark scheme will guarantee that building work is completed to a high standard by accredited tradespeople, ensuring consumers are fully protected.
Mark Bretton, chair of the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Network, said: “As business led partnerships with a ready-made pipeline of projects, LEPs responded swiftly to the Prime Minister’s call for infrastructure projects with more available when government is ready.
“LEPs ‘can do’ business attitude has created a proven track record of complex delivery, landing projects at scale, on time and to budget.
“The foundations they are building for local recovery in their Five Point Plan will underpin our national recovery.”