Javid announces New Homes Bonus backtrack

Communities secretary Sajid Javid has said there will be “no new changes” to New Homes Bonus in the year ahead.

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Unveiling the provisional local government finance settlement, Javid has said there will be no changes made to the existing New Homes Bonus model.

Changes were due, as announced year earlier this year, would see a reduction in the amount of New Homes Bonus payments that would be made.

But after hearing “concerns about proposed changes”, Javid said he had been “persuaded of the importance of continuity and certainty in this area”.

He added: “So today I can confirm that in the year ahead no new changes will be made to the way New Homes Bonus works and that the New Homes Bonus baseline will be maintained at 0.4%.

“As I set out in the Housing White Paper, local authorities will be able to increase planning fees by 20% where they commit to investing the additional income in their planning services.

“This is a significant step towards addressing the widespread concerns of under-resourcing in local planning authorities.”

The secretary of state also outlined how New Homes Bonus payouts had hit £7bn, in return for the 1.4 million homes built by councils.

He said that £946m will be allocated in 2018/19, “rewarding local authorities for their work in fixing our broken housing market”.

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