Housing Land Release Fund sees over £700,000 awarded to Blackburn with Darwen

Published Tuesday 20 February 2018 at 11:11

Blackburn with Darwen Council has been awarded over £700,000 to help bring forward potential building sites in the borough for housing development.

The funding was announced as part of a £45 million package of support to Councils around the UK, from the Government’s Housing Land Release Fund.

It means brownfield sites in the borough can be improved to make them more attractive for housing developers by removing costly or difficult site problems, such as ground contamination and providing site infrastructure.

£32,000 has been earmarked for the Newfield Development area, £35,000 for Fishmoor Drive and £670,000 for Griffin.

The application was made by Blackburn with Darwen Council as part of Lancashire’s One Public Estate round 6 funding submission.

It will see the £670,000 used to create a new highways access into the Griffin development site in Mill Hill and infrastructure works including installing mains services.

Remediation works will be carried out to prepare the site for new housing development, dealing with poor ground conditions and removing any contamination from the site.

The Griffin area has been identified for major intervention under the Housing Market Renewal (HMR) Programme through extensive local consultation and masterplanning. Two phases of development are planned: phase 1 is planned to provide around 90 new homes for sale along with the new highway access and phase 2 is intended to provide around 50 new affordable homes for rent and shared ownership.

The two other bids, totalling £67,000, will be used for site investigations and surveys at two sites in the South East Blackburn Housing Zone area. The surveys will assess if works are needed to resolve site contamination and unstable ground conditions, so that developers will have easier sites to work with.

All three bids were awarded in full and Blackburn with Darwen Council was one of three areas in Lancashire that successfully secured money from the first phase of the Government’s Housing Land Release Fund. The second phase will be launched in 2018/19.

The Council worked alongside other authorities through the Lancashire One Public Estate partnership to submit the bids that saw with over £4 million awarded to housing projects in the county.

Councillor Phil Riley, Executive member for Regeneration, said: “We’re delighted to have secured this funding that will help us to hit our targets for house building across the borough, which is one of the Council’s key priorities.

“It will enable us to address the issues on these difficult sites that have real potential, as currently developers are telling us that they are reluctant to take on brownfield sites because of all of the hidden costs.”

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