New Government Bonus for Local Councils to build New Houses

November 14, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Government has today, 12 November, published the consultation paper on the New Homes Bonus (NHB) which is described in the paper as “an effective fiscal incentive to encourage local authorities to facilitate housing growth“.

The Consultation closes on 24 December.

Everyone in Rochford District should be interested in this because that is the reward Rochford District Council will get for building more houses than the public wants.

When I wrote about this only last August the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources at Rochford District Council , Councillor Seagers wrote “However, I rather doubt that such largesse will ever arrive to ease my task, whether resulting from my own future actions, those of my fellow Conservative RDC Members or the savagely depleted public coffers the Coalition has inherited to work within.” 

He should have had more faith in his own Government.  It is expected to be payable from April 2011. Watch out for Windfall planning permissions being granted over and above current plans.

At the 190 dwellings per annum that the Council has passed this could mean for the first 5 years of the Core Strategy this is on Band D a bonus sum of £1,442,100.

“Grant Shapps, the Housing Minister, told The Times in August that he will reward local authorities that give planning approval to housing developments by matching the council tax revenue collected from these homes. The money will continue for six years, with extra provided for affordable homes for first-time buyers.

Mr Shapps is determined to overcome those who object to new developments, despite allowing local people more say under the “revolutionary” planning overhaul.”

Curiously at the same time the Government also pronounces that the existing concept of consultation will become extinct under government plans. 

 A Spokesman said “As far as I am concerned, consultation is dead.  Taking a plan, and saying “take it or leave it” is over.  Instead, engagement is what it’s about.”

 “Local people will be encouraged to bring forward their ideas”. 

 Unfortunately that is something that Rochford Council does not intend with its Core Strategy and every resident knows that only too well that it is “take it or leave it” .

 One couldn’t ask for a stronger reinforcement of the new localism agenda.