Yvette Cooper said grant would reward those councils that used planning to speed housing supply

The government has announced plans to give councils extra funding in a bid to accelerate the building of affordable housing around the UK.

Housing and planning minister Yvette Cooper said the £500m Housing and Planning Delivery Grant (HPDG) would reward councils that speed up housing supply delivery and maximise the supply of building land in their areas.

She added the proposals would ensure new homes were environmentally-friendly and built on brownfield land, adding that 200 extra disuse public sector sites had been identified as potential areas for housing.

She said: “Families across the country need more affordable homes. We want to give more support to communities and councils who are doing their bit to deliver the extra homes we need.

“This money is about extra support for the councils which are already doing their bit. Some of them are doing a lot of work to support additional housing, but we know that others really need to do more. I want this new cash injection to push local authorities to raise their game.”

The minister also announced that the new body aimed at driving forward plans for housing growth will be called the Homes and Communities Agency.