Prisk launches fund for stalled developments

Robyn Hall

March 13, 2013

The minister said today he was using the fund to help unlock stalled sites across the country and called on councils and developers to come forward and tap into the fund build thousands of much-needed homes.

The £225m pot is part of the wider £474m Local Infrastructure Fund which is designed to stimulate economic development and get sites moving.

As part of the scheme the minister announced a £24.7m loan to Reading University to help unlock a large-scale site in Wokingham.

The Wokingham site which was planned with the local community will deliver 2,500 new homes as well as 2 primary schools, a neighbourhood centre, shops, park and ride facilities and a new specialist Science and Research Park.

The investment will be used to build a new access road and bridge to link the new development to Wokingham town centre itself.

Wokingham is the fourth large-scale site that the government has helped to accelerate since August last year. Ministers have also helped schemes at:

• Eastern Quarry in Kent – a 22,000 home site which received help and support to progress the project.

• Cranbrook near Exeter – which received £20m to deliver 1,500 jobs, new rail links to London and 6,300 homes.

• Fairfield in Milton Keynes – which will deliver 6,000 homes after discussions with the developer to move the site forward.

Prisk said: “I am delighted that today’s £25m investment in the future of Wokingham will help tackle the transport troubles that are stopping the building of 2,500 homes in its tracks. But with dozens of similar stalled sites across the country, I’m determined to do more.

“That’s why today, I’m calling on councils and developers with large-scale, locally supported stalled developments to come forward and make the most of the government help available to get builders back to work and the homes we need built.

“With funding on offer in the form of recoverable loans this is a win-win for the taxpayer – delivering thousands of homes and getting more bang for our buck.”

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