New government funding to speed up building new homes in the West of England has been announced today.
This will support the West of England Combined Authority, working in partnership with North Somerset Council, with ambitious plans to deliver more homes, including affordable homes.
The government housing package includes:
- Agreement to take two Housing Infrastructure Fund projects through to the next stage of assessment for funding:
1. WECA’s bid for £250 million for the Bristol Temple Meads to Keynsham corridor.
2. North Somerset Council’s bid for £80 million for enabling Infrastructure for M5 – A38.
If agreed these projects would fund new transport links to support delivery of new homes.
- £3 million to help the region progress housing development sites.
- Exploring potential for a deal with housing associations to deliver more affordable homes.
- A joint-partnership with Homes England – the government’s housing delivery body – on land acquisition and infrastructure, to secure land at stalled sites, ensuring homes are delivered on time. This will develop a new pipeline of high-priority sites.
West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles, said: “We have worked closely with government to secure this announcement, which will see millions of pounds invested in delivering new homes in the West of England. We know that we need more homes, to buy and rent – homes where they are needed at prices people can afford.
“This deal will support us to work with our constituent councils, and North Somerset Council, to build homes and communities that are well-connected.”
The Leader of North Somerset Council Cllr Nigel Ashton said: “We see this housing package as the dividend for the West of England committing to the housing targets in the Joint Spatial Plan and delivering our commitment to local communities to deliver improved infrastructure along with new housing.”
The West of England – covering Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset – is a high housing demand area. Across the region, the average house prices are more than eight times average incomes, with Bath more than ten times the average income.
This agreement lays the foundations for an increase in housing delivery and a strengthened, long-term partnership between government, Homes England and the West of England Combined Authority (WECA), working with North Somerset. This represents the next step in developing a housing deal for the West of England, with the full deal to be agreed later in the year.