New powers for councils could deliver “tens of thousands of new homes”
Important new powers granted to local authorities could enable them to deliver “tens of thousands of new homes” in the near future, the Government has said.
The comments come after Housing Minister Dominic Raab unveiled a series of new powers for councils, which will enable them to apply to set up a so-called ‘New Town Development Corporation’.
These bodies, which local authorities will be able to establish by way of seeking Government approval, will effectively be held responsible for the delivery of new towns and garden communities in their individual areas.
New Town Development Corporations will be expected to undertake any project development and master-planning involved in delivering such communities – and to involve local communities in any projects. This will enable local people to ‘have their say’ on the ways by which housing is delivered.
The newfound development corporations will also need to partner with property developers where appropriate and oversee the completion of any new settlements, the Government has said.
In short, the new corporations will be held to account by individual councils themselves, as opposed to by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, as was previously the case.
Each one will be led by a mix of community stakeholders, council representatives and experts in delivering housing and other projects, it has been said.
Martin Tett, a housing spokesperson at the Local Government Association (LGA), welcomed the news, noting that the LGA had “long called for oversight of local development corporations to be carried out by councils.”
He said that the new rules would enable communities to have “as much say as possible” about new developments.
Housing Minister Dominic Raab, added: “We need to build the homes our communities need and I’m committed to giving councils the tools they need to deliver.
“That’s why we’re giving councils the option of applying to establish development corporations.
“These will be locally accountable and must listen to the views of the community to ensure that the right homes are built in the right places.”