Govt fast-tracks new Infrastructure Bill
The Infrastructure (Financial Assistance) Bill will enable the government to provide loan guarantees for £40bn of infrastructure projects and £10bn for new homes, allowing developers to access capital more easily. According to Treasury, the government has expedited the legislation in order to ensure that it can take forward "detailed discussions with eligible commercial parties as soon as possible".
Key measures aim to increase the level of housebuilding through guaranteeing of the debt of Housing Associations and private sector developers as well as relaxing planning regulations.
Restrictions will be removed on housebuilders to help unlock 75,000 homes currently stalled due to sites being commercially unviable, up to 15,000 affordable homes will be built and 5,000 empty homes brought back into use using new capital funding of £300m and the infrastructure guarantee.
Ministers also plan legislation to allow applications for planning permission to be decided by the Planning Inspectorate rather than local authorities in some cases.
Prime minister David Cameron said: "The measures announced today show this government is serious about rolling its sleeves up and doing all it can to kickstart the economy. Some of the proposals are controversial; others have been a long time in coming. But along with our Housing Strategy, they provide a comprehensive plan to unleash one of the biggest homebuilding programmes this country has seen in a generation."