Nine winners have been picked for the government's £60,000 house competition. They are Barratt Developments, Geoffrey Osborne, George Wimpey, Northern Edge, Redrow, William Verry, SIXTYK Consortium, the Countryside Consortium and Westbury.

The government will also find sites for seven bidders that were commended but missed out on the first prize. These are: Accent Group, Gentect Homes, Linden Homes, Persimmon, Taylor Woodrow Developments, The Forward Group, and the Super E Partnership.

Trevor Beattie, corporate director of public regeneration agency English Partnerships, said that work that had been put in would not be “wasted” and that other sites would be found through English Partnerships.

The winners have until 4 October to submit proposals for the first four sites, in Milton Keynes, Northampton, Maidstone and Leeds. These have been freely provided by EP, without the need to invest in infrastructure.

Deadlines for further sites will be released in the next few weeks. English Partnerships will choose overall winners of the contest by the end of the year.