DCLG invites local authorities to bid for share of £5m to help prepare local development orders

Out-Law News | 08 Aug 2014 | 4:53 pm | 1 min. read

The Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has invited local planning authorities to bid for a share of £5 million to help fund the preparation of local development orders (LDOs) to bring forward housing development on brownfield sites.

In his annual Mansion House speech in June, chancellor George Osborne announced proposals to require local authorities to earmark brownfield sites for housing development and to ease planning restrictions at these sites using LDOs. Housing and planning minister Brandon Lewis has now published a document inviting local authorities to apply for a share of a £5m Local Development Order Fund to help them deliver the first 100 brownfield sites with LDOs attached.

According to the invitation to bid (11-page / 82 KB PDF), all local authorities in England are eligible to apply for proposed grants of £50,000 towards the costs involved in delivering an LDO. Funding will be paid between 2014 and 2016, with the bulk of funding to be provided in 2014-15. Local authorities can make more than one bid if there are several suitable sites for LDOs in their area.

Sites identified by local authorities must be capable of accommodating "in the region of 100 dwellings or more" and must be "on land where the majority of the area is brownfield", the document said. Priority will be given to local authorities that are able to demonstrate commitment to consult on draft LDOs by April 2015. Bids must demonstrate clear plans to bring forward deliverable sites cost effectively and local authorities must show how the money will be used and that they have sufficient resources to prepare and deliver an order. The number of units to be provided through the LDO will also be considered.

Secretary of state for communities and local government Eric Pickles said in the forward to the invitation document: "There is enough previously-developed, brownfield land to deliver up to 200,000 planning permissions for new homes across the country. Homes will be built on unused and previously-developed land under the government's plans to make it easier to build on brownfield sites suitable for housing."

"Councils play a critical role in bringing forward brownfield land and are being asked to put in place LDOs which can provide sites with outline planning permission to speed up the building of new homes. That's why we're making available a £5m fund [to] help local planning authorities create the first 100 sites with LDOs."

Local authorities can submit bids electronically using an online application form or by email until 30 September. The DCLG expects to notify bidders of the outcome of the bidding process by November.