The Right to Build Task Force has welcomed the opening of the £75m Brownfield Land Release Fund, which includes a dedicated £25m fund for self and custom build projects.
The fund, announced in the autumn and co-ordinated by One Public Estate, a partnership between the the Local Government Association (LGA), the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and the Office of Government Property (OGP) in the Cabinet Office, went live earlier this month.
Local authorities are invited to bid for funding for projects before the application deadline of 2 June 2021.
The dedicated custom and self-build scheme provides capital grant funding to bring forward local authority land for housing development, giving proactive councils the chance to progress sites with viability issues for custom and self-build projects.
Eligible land must be wholly owned by the local authority and most authorities can apply, with the exception of some mayoral combined authorities.
Self and custom build schemes on greenfield land, as well as brownfield, are eligible for support.
The scheme is designed to unlock sites that may otherwise struggle to come forward, with funding available for a range of uses, including:
- Site levelling, preparation and groundworks
- Provision of small-scale infrastructure
- Highways works or other access challenges
- Addressing environmental constraints
- Providing services to plots and more
Applications must meet a range of criteria to be considered, including a score for innovation for custom and self-build and funds will be awarded over the summer.
Commenting, Acting Head of the Right to Build Task Force, Mary Elkington said: “It is fantastic that the Brownfield Land Release Fund includes this £25m allocation for self and custom build and we encourage as many councils as possible to apply.
“This will make a genuine difference to those authorities working to deliver a more diverse route to delivering high-quality housing.
“Support for replicable exemplars of this innovative route to housing helps in scaling up custom and self-build. These sites will showcase the wide range of benefits that custom and self-build can deliver, complementing wider housing delivery.”
Supported by MHCLG funding, the Right to Build Task Force is engaging with every English local authority to support their understanding of custom and self-build and advice is freely available on the Task Force’s website: www.righttobuild.org.uk.