Housing

Communities to receive planning funding boost

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has today (10 Aug) announced funding will be doubled to help communities in urban and disadvantaged areas plan their local neighbourhoods.

Back in May funding was increased from £9,000 to £10,000 to help with the effects of coronavirus.

But as of today, government grants in individual neighbourhood planning groups in both urban and deprived areas will increase to £18,000.

The funding boost will support the voice of local communities in some of the most disadvantaged areas in England.

The government also said it is providing these groups with access to extra technical expertise free of charge, such as for assessing their area’s housing needs, or evolving masterplans.

Today’s changes follow last week’s launch of Planning for the Future, the government’s overhaul of the outdated planning system to deliver the high-quality, sustainable homes communities need.

At the heart of the planned reforms are measures to guarantee local communities are consulted from the very beginning of the planning process.

By using the latest technology through online maps and data, the whole system will be made more accessible.

Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said: “The government is overhauling the country’s outdated planning system to deliver the high-quality sustainable homes the country needs.

“Under the new system local communities will be in the driving seat deciding what is built and where. I want to ensure all communities have a strong voice in this process which is why I am doubling the funding available in some of the most deprived parts of the country to help residents in these areas shape the future of their neighbourhoods.”

Cllr Sue Baxter, Chairman, National Association of Local Councils said: “England’s local (parish & town) councils are at the forefront of neighbourhood planning and make up the vast majority of the 2,600 places using this important tool in the planning system to shape development and housing in their areas.

“This additional grant funding for disadvantaged communities is particularly welcome and will provide a vital extra boost to help hundreds of areas prepare a plan.

“NALC would encourage local councils in those areas to use this additional funding to get started on neighbourhood planning to help build back better communities.”

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