£60m fund puts new builds ‘in right place’ after rural backlash

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Councils will be able to bid for a share of £60million to help bring neglected urban areas in England back into use, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) said. The funding is due to produce 5,800 new homes by March 2027.

Around 18,000 new jobs in housing and construction will be provided, while thousands of first-time buyers will be given a leg-up to owning a home, the DLUHC said.

It comes after the Daily Express revealed villages are “under assault” as large new estates multiply on rural, or greenfield, land.

Minister for Housing Lucy Frazer said: “We want to turn neglected areas into thriving new communities, as part of our mission to level up the country.

“We must prioritise brownfield land to deliver new homes for people, in the right places.”

Our “Green Britain Needs You” campaign has highlighted the need to protect nature – but there is planning permission for more than 400,000 homes on greenfield sites, according to the Campaign to Protect Rural England charity.

Paul Miner, from the charity, has said there is room for 1.2 million homes on previously developed brownfield sites, adding: “It is simply immoral to needlessly destroy the countryside.”

Over the next 15 years, there are 250,000 houses planned for Green Belt land and a further 90,000 for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Cabinet Office Minister Alex Burghart said the new funding is “absolutely vital” to help local areas reach their full potential.

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