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Volume 508: debated on Tuesday 6 April 2010

I am today publishing the Government’s response to the consultation conducted last year on Housing and Planning Delivery Grant (HPDG) which closed on 23 June 2009. The document sets out a summary of the responses received and also confirms both the amount available for HPDG in 2010-11 and the allocation mechanism for 2010-11 which has been considered in the light of the comments received.

The amount available for local authorities through HPDG will be £146 million, an increase from £135 million paid out in 2009-10. This reflects the importance the Government place on increasing housing supply and increasing the capacity of local authorities to support this by delivering viable land and an efficient planning service. The grant provides a direct incentive for councils to work with partners in the public and private sector to ensure that new homes are built where they are needed. It is additional to mainstream funding and councils have the freedom to decide how best to spend it locally.

In changes to the distribution mechanism we are reducing the threshold of net additional homes needed to qualify for the housing element in recognition of the more challenging conditions in the housing market. We are also introducing additional eligibility requirements for demonstrating land for housing in order to reinforce existing requirements in planning policy statement 3 and increase confidence in the land supply position across the county. This builds on the confirmation set out in the budget that the planning inspectorate will undertake comprehensive checks on land supply and publish the results.

I have placed a copy of the Government’s response to the consultation document in the Library of the House. This will also be available on the Communities and Local Government website.