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SELEP Garden Communities receive almost £2m in funding

The South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) has welcomed the news that the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) is investing £8m in Garden Communities across England, with £1.86m going towards communities in the SELEP area for 81,000 new homes.

MHCLG is providing £6m to help new locally led garden towns and villages progress plans to deliver 211,500 news homes, while a further £1.9m will be given to councils in England to support new neighbourhood plans, allowing communities to have a say on the types of homes built.

In the SELEP area, ‘Harlow & Gilston’, near Harlow and ‘Otterpool Park’, Folkestone, are each to receive £580,000 for the building of 24,000 and 10,000 homes, respectively. ‘North Essex’ Colchester, Tendring & Braintree is receiving £550,000 for 43,000 homes while Dunton Hills, Brentwood will receive £150,000 for 4,000 homes. The funding will be used for preparing environmental assessments of the Garden Community sites, as well as using the latest design techniques to develop areas people will be proud to live in.

Housing Minister Rt Hon Esther McVey MP said:

“Communities have the local insight to decide what new homes should look like and the kind of infrastructure they need in their area. This is what neighbourhood planning is all about, so I’m pleased this funding will ensure that the right homes are built in the right places.

“I am also announcing extra cash to deliver new vibrant garden communities, which will help deliver tens of thousands of well-designed new homes for hardworking families.”

The funding for neighbourhood planning will build on Government’s commitment to give communities a voice when it comes to development in their areas, including the prioritisation of local brownfield land while protecting the green belt.

It will support local authorities in providing advice to communities that want a neighbourhood plans, organising an independent examination of draft plans, hosting local referendums that give communities a final say on plans, and supporting communities that want to deliver new neighbourhood plans but haven’t been able to.

SELEP Chair Christian Brodie said:

“Housing is a priority for our area. We have long recognised the need for new homes to be built together with the infrastructure and services required to support the community. The SELEP area is delivering more than a third of all houses proposed in new Garden Communities in this funding round. This highlights the desirability of the South East as a place to live and work, as well as the determination of our partners in local authorities across the patch to grow and offer modern housing to their communities.”