Delivering homes and infrastructure through incentivisation: The role of the growth points agenda and the New Homes Bonus
Sheppard, A. and Smith, N. (2011) Delivering homes and infrastructure through incentivisation: The role of the growth points agenda and the New Homes Bonus. In: 2011 UK/Ireland Planning Research Conference, Birmingham, UK, 12th - 14th September, 2011.
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Delivering homes and infrastructure through incentivisation: the role of the growth points agenda and the New Homes Bonus The formation of the Coalition Government has led to a dramatic change in the operation and promotion of governance, the management of public finance, and the delivery of homes and infrastructure across England. Accompanying reforms have also been made to the English planning system, with a raft of proposals having been introduced over the course of the last year. At the same time, the challenges remain the same, with the need to provide economic growth and increased housing supply high on the agenda. In looking to the future, the government has predictably looked to the past by undertaking a fast-paced review of the policies and commitments of the previous administration. Many programmes have subsequently been curtailed in response to current austerity measures, or where previous initiatives have failed to demonstrate their value. This paper will focus on two high-profile initiatives associated with the delivery of housing and infrastructure. Firstly, it will examine the Growth Points agenda that was introduced by the last government in 2006. This programme invited local authorities to compete for funds in order to contribute towards an annual delivery target of some 240,000 homes a year. Secondly, the paper will focus on the recently introduced New Homes Bonus (NHB) that provides each local authority with additional funds as a reward for either building new homes, or for facilitating the re-use of empty homes. Although coverage has been given to the process through which revenues will be calculated and distributed across England, little has been said about how this current scheme compares with the previous Growth Points agenda or other similar initiatives. This is somewhat surprising given that both programmes share a common commitment to facilitate economic growth and infrastructure delivery, and to positively re-shaping attitudes towards local development.
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