Chancellor’s cash for homes welcomed by Bradford Council

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: George Osborne George Osborne

Bradford has been offered the chance to borrow millions of pounds to build badly-needed homes – but only if it agrees to sell off land.

George Osborne used his autumn statement to announce a £300m increase in the amount local authorities can borrow for housebuilding.

However, town halls will only get funds if they agree to sell land and social housing, although many – including Bradford – have already transferred their stock.

Labour-run Bradford Council said it was interested in pursuing such a deal, but warned: “The devil will be in the detail.”

Councillor Val Slater, the executive member for housing, said: “Bradford has already taken the step of borrowing money to build houses, in partnership with developers and social landlords.

“We could be interested in pursuing that option further, but we would have to be convinced that it is the right deal for Bradford.

“Certainly this sort of help is needed, because we do have a housing timebomb in Bradford. Some housebuilding has started – but more needs to be done.”

The £300m will fund 10,000 affordable homes over two years, but that falls way short of the 300,000 a year demanded by campaigners, earlier this year.

The move came in a low-key autumn statement, in which the Chancellor announced:

  • higher growth forecasts for this year (up from 0.6 per cent to 1.4 per cent) and next year (from 1.8 per cent to 2.4 per cent)
  • a further freeze in petrol taxes – with a planned 2p rise next year scrapped
  • rail fares will rise only in line with RPI inflation next month – not RPI plus one per cent
  • a £1,000 cut in business rates for small shops and pubs, for the next two years and halved rates for new occupants of vacant shops
  • the scrapping of National Insurance contributions on 1.5m jobs for young people
  • a threat to strip benefits from jobless under-21s who refuse to go on training courses “from day one”.

Paul Mackie, president of Bradford Chamber of Commerce, gave a scathing response to the announcements, describing the package as “disappointing”.

He welcomed the moves on business rates, NI and fuel duty, but said: “We think the Government could have gone much further. It’s all about politics and not about enterprise.

“There’s not been enough for businesses to think about investing more – and that’s what’s needed to propel recovery and growth forward at a faster rate.

“There was also little or nothing to help manufacturers, like tackling energy prices.”

But Kris Hopkins MP (Con, Keighley), the Housing Minister, said: “Our economy has turned the corner.

“George Osborne was right to stick to his rescue plan and he has made the correct calls by enabling businesses and hard-working people to benefit.”

Comments (10)

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7:10am Fri 6 Dec 13

Albion. says...

That'll be handy for all those brownfield sites that they can't shift.
That'll be handy for all those brownfield sites that they can't shift. Albion.

8:01am Fri 6 Dec 13

Blotto says...

Watch them back peddle on selling off brownfields because the prospective builders wanting to many concessions and after the Westfield debacle the Council will still want to blame anyone but themselves!!
Watch them back peddle on selling off brownfields because the prospective builders wanting to many concessions and after the Westfield debacle the Council will still want to blame anyone but themselves!! Blotto

8:49am Fri 6 Dec 13

mad matt says...

So the council MUST include strong penalty clauses in every contract.
So the council MUST include strong penalty clauses in every contract. mad matt

9:35am Fri 6 Dec 13

alive and awake says...

Seems like a good idea to me, but is Green and his gang up to it? Ask the Government to step in take over, no shame in it and better for Bradford people.
Seems like a good idea to me, but is Green and his gang up to it? Ask the Government to step in take over, no shame in it and better for Bradford people. alive and awake

11:06am Fri 6 Dec 13

Andy2010 says...

alive and awake wrote:
Seems like a good idea to me, but is Green and his gang up to it? Ask the Government to step in take over, no shame in it and better for Bradford people.
Nah Green is too busy getting aroused at the thought of Westfield containing H Samuel. Bet they offered him a years supply of chav earrings in return for a tax rebate.
[quote][p][bold]alive and awake[/bold] wrote: Seems like a good idea to me, but is Green and his gang up to it? Ask the Government to step in take over, no shame in it and better for Bradford people.[/p][/quote]Nah Green is too busy getting aroused at the thought of Westfield containing H Samuel. Bet they offered him a years supply of chav earrings in return for a tax rebate. Andy2010

1:06pm Fri 6 Dec 13

Victor Clayton says...

There is page after page of cheap housing on rightmove, so in Bradford it is not about cheap housing as such. The challenge should be to make some of the undesirable areas more desirable, and avoid building on green fields.
There is page after page of cheap housing on rightmove, so in Bradford it is not about cheap housing as such. The challenge should be to make some of the undesirable areas more desirable, and avoid building on green fields. Victor Clayton

6:00pm Fri 6 Dec 13

sorrow&anger says...

Victor Clayton wrote:
There is page after page of cheap housing on rightmove, so in Bradford it is not about cheap housing as such. The challenge should be to make some of the undesirable areas more desirable, and avoid building on green fields.
Spot on. We have some of the cheapest housing in the country but nobody wants to live in it because Bradford is an unregnerated dump offering little prospect of honest employment. By and large all the new houses are built on peripheral greenfields for wealthy Leeds commuters.
[quote][p][bold]Victor Clayton[/bold] wrote: There is page after page of cheap housing on rightmove, so in Bradford it is not about cheap housing as such. The challenge should be to make some of the undesirable areas more desirable, and avoid building on green fields.[/p][/quote]Spot on. We have some of the cheapest housing in the country but nobody wants to live in it because Bradford is an unregnerated dump offering little prospect of honest employment. By and large all the new houses are built on peripheral greenfields for wealthy Leeds commuters. sorrow&anger

8:57pm Fri 6 Dec 13

C.T.I.D says...

sorrow&anger wrote:
Victor Clayton wrote:
There is page after page of cheap housing on rightmove, so in Bradford it is not about cheap housing as such. The challenge should be to make some of the undesirable areas more desirable, and avoid building on green fields.
Spot on. We have some of the cheapest housing in the country but nobody wants to live in it because Bradford is an unregnerated dump offering little prospect of honest employment. By and large all the new houses are built on peripheral greenfields for wealthy Leeds commuters.
There's pages and pages of cheap houses in Leeds too. explain that one.
[quote][p][bold]sorrow&anger[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Victor Clayton[/bold] wrote: There is page after page of cheap housing on rightmove, so in Bradford it is not about cheap housing as such. The challenge should be to make some of the undesirable areas more desirable, and avoid building on green fields.[/p][/quote]Spot on. We have some of the cheapest housing in the country but nobody wants to live in it because Bradford is an unregnerated dump offering little prospect of honest employment. By and large all the new houses are built on peripheral greenfields for wealthy Leeds commuters.[/p][/quote]There's pages and pages of cheap houses in Leeds too. explain that one. C.T.I.D

10:56pm Fri 6 Dec 13

Victor Clayton says...

sorrow&anger wrote:
Victor Clayton wrote:
There is page after page of cheap housing on rightmove, so in Bradford it is not about cheap housing as such. The challenge should be to make some of the undesirable areas more desirable, and avoid building on green fields.
Spot on. We have some of the cheapest housing in the country but nobody wants to live in it because Bradford is an unregnerated dump offering little prospect of honest employment. By and large all the new houses are built on peripheral greenfields for wealthy Leeds commuters.
You're really selling it sorrow!
[quote][p][bold]sorrow&anger[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Victor Clayton[/bold] wrote: There is page after page of cheap housing on rightmove, so in Bradford it is not about cheap housing as such. The challenge should be to make some of the undesirable areas more desirable, and avoid building on green fields.[/p][/quote]Spot on. We have some of the cheapest housing in the country but nobody wants to live in it because Bradford is an unregnerated dump offering little prospect of honest employment. By and large all the new houses are built on peripheral greenfields for wealthy Leeds commuters.[/p][/quote]You're really selling it sorrow! Victor Clayton

1:07am Sun 8 Dec 13

bobbyo says...

Hope these are for bradford people and not the expected influx !
Hope these are for bradford people and not the expected influx ! bobbyo

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