On July 8, 2022 in the UK, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities announced that derelict and underused brownfield sites across England will be transformed into thousands of new homes, creating thriving communities and levelling up the country.
Local councils will be able to apply for a share of the new £180 million ($215 million USD) Brownfield Land Release Fund 2, which will help to transform disused urban areas into 17,600 new homes and create around 54,000 jobs over the next 4 years.
An initial £40 million is available to support local regeneration projects, releasing council land for around 4000 new homes (and creating 12,400 jobs).
The move will boost local economies and help thousands of young people and families into homeownership.
The remaining £140 million of the Brownfield Land Release Fund 2 will be made available to councils over the next 2 years.
The scheme forms part of the government’s plan to level up communities across the country and turn unloved areas into new places for people to live and work
Minister for Government Efficiency Jacob Rees-Mogg said, “Opening up this land is a fantastic opportunity for regeneration, improving government efficiency and playing a vital role in tackling the housing shortage while increasing home ownership. I am pleased to see this work is being delivered, after many attempts over the decades.”
“This will provide a boost to the economy, foster the creation of thousands of jobs, and it is also the opportunity to convert derelict and unloved land into beautiful new hamlets or villages, which will give many young families their first step on the housing ladder,” he added.
The fund aims to support the transformation of small council-owned sites that have been previously developed, by funding small scale infrastructure and remediation work to enable the release of the land for new homes.
This builds on the success of the first Brownfield Land Release Fund which saw £77 million go to councils across the country to release brownfield sites for around 7750 new homes, examples include:
- As part of this, the Lancashire One Public Estate partnership £670,000 to support the remediation of land at Griffin Housing Regeneration site in Blackburn. This enabled the phase 1 development of the site to progress and deliver 140 new homes for affordable rent or shared ownership.
- In Blackpool, £400,000 provided a new traffic system for a development at Ryscar Way. The improved road access opened up land for 51 new homes.
- In Rotherham, £300,000 unlocked the sites of 2 former adult care residential facilities to provide 44 new homes for first-time buyers and older people in the local area.
As with the previous scheme, the new fund will be delivered through the One Public Estate partnership between the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, the Office of Government Property and the Local Government Association.
Councils will be able to draw on their understanding of local needs in determining the type, tenure and delivery approach for the new homes.
They have until August 19, 2022 to submit applications via the designated accountable body of their local OPE Partnership.
Photo courtesy of Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.