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Wokingham Council to receive £2.7 million cash injection

Published: 13 Jan 2014 17:300 comments

Wokingham Borough Council is set to receive an additional £2.7m from the Government as a reward for building new homes.

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The £2,730,221 for 2014/15 comes from the Government’s New Homes Bonus, launched in 2011, which rewards authorities which have increased the number of homes and their

use.

A total of 1,561 homes have been built in the borough since 2011, with 91 empty homes brought back into use.

The New Homes Bonus is paid every year for six years, which according to figures will see Wokingham Borough Council receiving a total of £6.2m over that period. Cllr David Lee, leader of the council, said: “It is very much needed, and we have had a good idea of what we will be getting as it’s based on the number of homes so we have included it in our budget.

“We have historically built houses every year for the past 30 years.”

The grant is based on the amount of extra council tax revenue raised for new-build homes, bringing long term empty homes back into use, and an additional payment for providing affordable homes.

The council is free to spend the money as they see fit, and the Cllr Lee confirmed they would be using the money to continue the “excellent” services it provides.

Under Wokingham Borough Council’s planning blueprint, an additional 13,500 homes will be built by 2026.

The council’s house building policy has been used as a case study by the Government on its website www.gov.uk.

The Government has said it would contribute up to £2.5m over 2011-2015 towards building new homes in Wokingham borough.

Nationally £2.2bn has been awarded as part of the New Homes Bonus since 2011. Of that, £1bn is additional grant provided by Department for Communities and Local Government.

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