Housing programme celebrates first anniversary

Fund to unlock stalled housing sites invests £3.5 million in plans to build 300 new homes.

A £9 million fund set up to unlock stalled housing sites across Greater Birmingham has approved £3.5 million worth of investments to support the delivery of almost 300 homes in its first year.

The Unlocking Stalled Housing Sites Programme launched in 2016 by the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership and managed by Finance Birmingham, is designed to remove barriers to development. It is aiming to bring forward at least 500 new homes within the next three years.

The programme provides grant and loan funding for stalled sites that are ready for development and is intended to support mixed tenure schemes of between ten and 100 homes.

Areas benefitting from the fund include Cannock, where Anglesey Real Estate has completed a ten-unit site, Craig & Watts Holdings is working on almost forty new homes and Anglesey Estates Bridgtown is delivering five units. Developers in Lichfield, Solihull and Moseley are also delivering on projects made possible by investments approved from the fund.

Ian MacLeod, Assistant Director of Planning at Birmingham City Council and Programme Head for the Unlocking Stalled Housing Sites Programme, said: “Increasing the rate of housing delivery across the GBSLEP is vitally important if we are to meet the housing needs of our growing population. There are numerous housing sites across the GBSLEP which have stalled often due to the financial risk of tacking issues such as land remediation. This programmed is aim at helping to resolve these issues by providing financial support for stalled housing schemes.

“The Cannock area in particular has benefited significantly from the programme and we are keen to encourage other developers across the GBSLEP to utilise the funding available where it can be demonstrated that it would support the delivery of new homes.”

Simon Marks, Board Director for Place at the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP, added: “Housing is a barrier to growth for many regions as demand for flexible and affordable homes far outweighs supply. Through the LEP and its partners it’s encouraging to see the incredible response the fund has had since its inception in 2016.

“Many developers have come to us to highlight the opportunities open to them if funding support was possible, so we’ve been able to help them get started again. Every developer that is sitting on land, struggling to get their site started or that need any advice or support should get in touch with the Finance Birmingham team and find out what the options are.”

For further details on the Unlocking Stalled Housing Sites Programme visit here or call 0121 233 4903.