30/08/2012 - Permalink

New proposals allow council to invest in new homes and economic growth

Related topics: Community

Shropshire Council is continuing to invest in new homes and economic growth as part of new national funding arrangements being introduced.

The council has already been one of the first to introduce the Community Infrastructure Levy, which puts money from new developments into communities to support local priorities.  And radical proposals are now being discussed to make the most of the New Homes Bonus.

Mal Price, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for planning, said:

“The introduction by the Government of the New Homes Bonus is an incentive for growth, rewarding us for each new home built, and it has been our aim to ensure that the benefits of this growth are more visible to, and accessible by, communities in Shropshire.

“The Core Strategy already in place creates beneficial links between growth and community well-being, leading in turn to more sustainable places in Shropshire.   Around £3.5 million is now available, as part of the New Homes Bonus, to spend in 2012/13 and clear proposals have been made for allocating £3 million of this, leaving a balance of about £500,000 still to be allocated.

“We have proposals which we feel will stimulate the supply of local housing, support economic growth and seek to develop community based working, following the Localism Act.”

The proposals include:

  • Investing up to £1 million in community-led housing, supporting the work of local housing associations, whilst making a flat rate payment to local communities that actively support affordable housing in their areas, improving opportunities for local people to access much needed housing.
  • A drive to tackle empty properties in Market Drayton will receive £300,000 this year and is set to attach further Government funding for a scheme closely linked to the work of the Town Regeneration Programme.
  • A further £500,000 will be allocated to target land supply issues identified through the Local Development Framework process, and to help the council’s housing availability transformation project which is supporting among other things a drive to improve the supply of plots in Shropshire available for self-build homes.
  • The work of the Marches LEP is set to receive a boost of up to £300,000 to help unlock Shropshire’s potential to grow its economy, whilst community-led planning is set to receive £50,000 a year over the next two years to help communities get to grips with producing their own localised plans helping them to determine their own futures through Shropshire’s innovative Place Plans.

Gwilym Butler, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for flourishing Shropshire communities, said:

“I am absolutely delighted that we are now set to deliver on this aspect of the proposals putting resources back into communities to help them draw up their own plans.  Many parish and town councils have already risen to the challenge of refreshing their plans and with a little bit of financial support this will be an enormous support to them as they look to take on a much greater role for the stewardship of their areas, responding to the challenges of localism.”