Extension of affordable homes guarantee scheme and low borrowing rates for councils are also confirmed

Jeremy Hunt has announced a £110m fund to help local authorities tackle the potential impact of nutrient pollution.

In today’s autumn statement, the chancellor said the funding would help councils to deliver “high quality” schemes which he said could unblock 40,000 stalled homes.

The move is the latest attempt by the government to tackle the impact of nutrient pollution rules which the Home Builders Federation has said are holding up the construction of more than 150,000 homes. An attempt earlier this year to amend the Levelling-Up and Regeneration Bill to solve the issue was blocked by Labour peers.

Responding to the announcement a spokesperson for the HBF said the money for mitigation schemes is “welcome” but is only a ‘partial fix’.

He said: “There are 150,000 homes on hold and so a solution to unblock 40,000 over the coming years, via still to be finalised schemes is only a sticking plaster on a gaping wound.”


The money will be used to help build more homes, the chancellor said

Hunt also announced an extension of the affordable homes guarantee scheme.

The initial £3bn scheme which offers government-guaranteed, low-cost loans to housing associations to build homes or improve existing stock, will be extended by another £3bn.

The government said this should allow the scheme overall to deliver 20,000 extra homes.

Hunt made £32m available to tackle planning backlogs. He also announced a new permitted development right to allow one house to be converted into two flats, provided the exterior remains unaffected.

The government will invest £450m into the third round of the Local Authority Housing Fund to deliver 2,400 extra homes. It will extend the preferential rate offered by the Public Works Loan Board, which loans to local authorities, for housebuilding.

It said that this could “provide savings and additional investment in social housing of as much as £150m over the life of the borrowing”.

Today’s autumn statement also confirmed money to help the development of what the chancellor called “housing quarters” in Cambridge, Leeds and London.

This includes £2m to help Cambridge address water scarcity, £3m to look at the case for a Cambridge development corporation and £2m in capacity funding to help the development of homes in Leeds.