Cash boost to kick start housing boom

STOCK:  housing. PPP-170203-173134001
STOCK: housing. PPP-170203-173134001

Central Bedfordshire Council has been awarded more than £466,000 to kickstart two housing projects in Dunstable and Houghton Regis.

The funding, from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) is for regenerating blocks of land and accelerating housing growth.

The sites are in the Manshead and Northfields wards and Parkside and Tithe Farm.

It’s part of a total £1million grant funding for the council to unblock, de-risk and accelerate housing growth.

Jason Longhurst, Director of Regeneration and Business at CBC, said, “This is a very positive move from DCLG and will have a massive impact in these areas. We have a huge growth target which is both a challenge and an opportunity. For us, the focus is on sustainable growth and complements our emerging Local Plan, which will be out for consultation in the summer. We will be investing in comprehensive research and master planning that will ensure innovative - and swift - housing delivery. It will help to underpin the area’s sustainability and create an optimistic environment for investment in our backbone market towns, communities and business sectors.

“Central Bedfordshire is in an enviable position, leading the Oxford/Cambridge corridor, we have committed to major new infrastructure and this funding award is an endorsement of the proactive approach we take to sustainable growth.”

The money will be targeted on three estates in Dunstable, Sandy and Houghton Regis, to help connect existing communities with new communities, as significant housing growth is rolled out over the coming years.

Some of the funding will be accelerating housing starts on the major urban extension of HRN 1 and at Kingsland, Houghton Regis.

Central Bedfordshire needs to supply 22,000 new homes to meet existing targets in its five year housing supply plan and a further 20,000 new homes by 2035. The land is available but build rates need to be accelerated, alongside related infrastructure.