19 October 2018

London councils offered more funding for planning

Building on previous positive announcements this year – small sites and SME house builder initiatives, increased transparency and engagement on publicly-owned land – the Mayor of London has announced £10 million for ambitious councils that want to boost their role in building new homes in the capital.

Councils can bid for up to £750,000 of the “Homebuilding Capacity Fund” to boost their housing and planning teams, provided they can prove the funding will deliver:

  • a new generation of council homes;
  • more social rented and genuinely affordable homes, on small sites;
  • proactive masterplans in areas with significant growth potential;
  • optimal density across new residential developments in an area.

The National Federation of Builders (NFB) welcomes this planning fund because it shows that the Mayor is not only listening to the house building industry, but putting into action solutions to ensure the capital is able to meet its growing housing need.

The housing crisis cannot be solved unless the planning process is reformed. Local authorities, that plan our communities and implement the planning process, retain the most responsibility for addressing the housing crisis. Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB, said:

“The planning process remains the greatest barrier to industry growth and building new homes. Developers have already agreed to pay more for better planning and it’s fantastic to see that supplemented by the Homebuilding Capacity Fund.”