A scheme outlined a year ago while David Cameron was still in power that enables first time buyers to purchase discounted starter homes has been given the green light by housing minister Gavin Barwell (pictured).
He told Sky News yesterday that up to 500 brownfield sites within 30 local authorities will create up to 30,000 new homes during the current parliament, funded via a £1.2 billion Starter Homes Land Fund.
The sites will include several town centres and, the government says, will support wider regeneration and growth of local areas.
Barwell says construction will “start quickly” and that planning permission for the sites will be streamlined, simplified and therefore much less expensive than for normal developments, enabling the properties to be sold ‘at least’ 20% below market value.
The homes will only be available to first time buyers between 23 and 40 years old and the scheme only applies to properties selling for a maximum of £250,000 outside London and £450,000 within the capital.
Each of the 30 local authorities (see list below) has been selected because, the government believes, they can implement the new scheme the fastest. Authorities must now identify potential brownfield sites working in partnership with the Home and Communities Agency.
The scheme is also good news for smaller building companies, who are likely to be the main beneficiaries of this home-building push which in total will see 30,000 starter homes and a further 30,000 homes for the wider market built by 2020.
“Today’s announcement may feel like a welcome start to the New Year but as always we need to see these plans put into swift action,” says Mark Hayward, Managing Director, National Association of Estate Agents.
“The dream of home ownership is too far out of reach for thousands of aspiring first time buyers (FTBs), and the building of new homes on disused brownfield sites, as well as a 20% discount for buyers aged 23-40 will go some way to bridging this gap.”
LIST OF PARTICIPATING AUTHORITIES
* Blackburn with Darwen Council
* Blackpool Council
* Bristol City Council
* Central Bedfordshire Council
* Cheshire West and Chester Council
* Chesterfield Borough Council
* Chichester District Council
* City of Lincoln
* Ebbsfleet Development Corporation
* Fareham Borough Council
* Gloucester City Council
* Greater Manchester Combined Authority (Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan)
* Lincolnshire County Council
* Liverpool City Council (in association with Sefton, Knowsley, Halton, Wirral, St Helens)
* Luton Borough Council
* Mid Sussex District Council
* Middlesbrough Council
* North Somerset Council
* Northumberland County Council
* Pendle Borough Council
* Plymouth City Council
* Rotherham Metropolitan Council
* Rushmoor Borough Council
* Sheffield City Council
* South Kestevan District Council
* South Ribble Borough Council (iWorthing n association with Preston City Council and Lancashire County Council)
* South Somerset District Council
* Stoke–on–Trent City Council
* West Somerset Council (in association with Taunton Deane Borough Council, Sedgemoor District Council)