Government announces new fund for custom build on brownfield sites

The Government has today (Wednesday 16 December) announced further measures to enable the delivery of more homes across England.

Central to this is the Government’s confirmation that January 2021 will see the launch of a new £100 million Brownfield Land Release fund to support brownfield development, estates regeneration, development on public sector land and self and custom-build serviced plots to come forward. A large portion of this new fund will go to supporting self and custom-build developments. 

In making the announcement the Government underlined its ongoing commitment to support more people to build their own homes- a sector which it believes is growing. 

The announcement has also called on councils to use the time between now and the launch of the fund to start to consider and prepare their bids for funding. 

A further element of the announcement which will impact on housing supply is the introduction of a new standard method for assessing housing need which targets urban areas and prioritises brownfield development and will be central to planning for new homes in local communities.

This announcement builds on the recent Government spending review announcement that the Government is launching a new ‘Help to Build’ equity loan scheme for people who want to build their own homes, providing access to low deposit mortgages, which is expected to launch in Spring 2021 and we reported on last month.

The government has also said it will be encouraging councils to plan for family homes and ensure the right mix of home sizes, types and tenures for local communities come forward.

Mario Wolf, Director of Planning and Strategic Engagement at CBH, said:

“This announcement is further testimony that the Government is serious about scaling up custom and self build housing and is great new for our sector and clients. It will undoubtedly help unlock more projects on larger sites. We look forward to further details and working with councils to identify and bring forward their opportunities when the fund launches in early 2021.”

More information about the full announcement can be found here.