Land News

Housing and planning delivery grant consultation launched

Planning Portal, 27th July, 2006

Ministers have formally begun consultations on a new housing and planning delivery grant (HPDG) in line with recommendations suggested by the Barker review of housing supply.

The government has made it clear that this funding would be in addition to local infrastructure investment, give local authorities the flexibility to invest in their area and allow them to keep additional council tax receipts for new homes.

A consultation document just published by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) said the measure should:

  • Strengthen the incentive for local authorities to respond to local housing pressures
  • Support increased housing delivery to meet local needs
  • Encourage local authorities to become very actively involved in the delivery of new housing
  • Return the benefits of growth to the community through new funding streams
  • Incentivise efficient and effective planning procedures

The department stressed that "a new grant should focus on the delivery of additional housing in line with Kate Barker's recommendations, by rewarding those local authorities that take a positive step to meet the demands for housing created by their community".

DCLG has also made it clear that any new measure "should continue to support new plan making and the frontline work of planning advisory services".

The government's aim is that the housing incentive element would be awarded to local planning authorities and urban development corporations (UDCs) and paid starting in 2008 when the existing PDG regime is due to end.

Planning and housing minister Yvette Cooper said: "We need new homes for the next generation, but councils with high levels of demand also need more support and more incentives to meet local needs. Local authorities who are planning for the homes their communities need should benefit as a result."

In a related development, the department has proposed that a significantly higher proportion of the PDG to be allocated during 2007/08 will reward housing delivery.

That is highlighted in a consultation document launched by the DCLG which sets out how it proposes to allocate £120m of PDG during those 12 months.

The government has stressed that it wants to continue to incentives performances towards the Public Service Agreement 6 planning targets for handling applications and progressing work on Local Development Frameworks (LDFs).

Grant awards will also recognise progress in e-planning. Overall, the expectation is that PDG allocations will again be made on the basis of a 75/25 per cent split between resource and capital.

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