A support fund for brownfield housing projects in Liverpool city region has secured an extra £15m from the Government, taking it to £60m, which will support 4,500 new homes. Tony McDonough reports
Up to 4,500 new homes will be built on brownfield land across Liverpool city region after Metro Mayor Steve Rotherham secured an extra £15m from the Government.
In 2020, the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (CA) was able to set aside £45m in Government funding to support the development of new homes on previously developed sites in Liverpool, Wirral, Sefton, Knowsley, St Helens and Halton.
Since then the CA has already invested £11m of the fund in seven projects – both public and private-sector schemes – to deliver 886 homes. In November the CA approved a further £36m to support a further 1,400 homes in private sector schemes and 1,200 in six local authority-led developments.
This extra £15m will not support the development of another 1,000 homes which would take the total to around 4,500. However, this remains well short of Mr Rotheram’s target of 42,000 new homes on brownfield land. This, he has said, would require £200m in funding from the Government.
Speaking on Tuesday, he said: “New homes are an investment in all our futures – they give families the opportunity to realise their home ownership ambitions; attract new funding into our towns, and help us to retain the very best talent that fuels our economy.
“We know that our journey to building a strong, prosperous community starts at home, which is why we are helping thousands of families across the Liverpool city region to invest in good quality, genuinely affordable, and accessible houses.
“By specifically targeting brownfield sites, we can help to turn once-forgotten areas back into thriving communities – and help to protect more of our green spaces.”
In planning terms, any land that has been previously developed is classed as brownfield. In the Liverpool city region, much of this land is derelict and formerly industrial so must be cleaned up before it can be developed.
The CA investment will be used for site remediation and other measures required to make sites ready for development. It has worked with the six local authorities in the city region to develop a register of brownfield sites.
The recently updated register shows that there are 428 brownfield sites in the region, with room for 28,000 houses. The number of sites has reduced over recent years as previously derelict brownfield sites have been developed.
Cllr Graham Morgan, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Spatial Framework, added: “Building on brownfield sites is crucial to our ambitions to tackle the housing shortage by building a great choice of high-quality homes. We need to ensure that, across the city region, we are building high-quality homes to suit everyone.”