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Housing deal for Oxfordshire confirmed - but others miss out for now

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Chancellor Philip Hammond has confirmed the government has struck a “housing deal” with Oxfordshire – as revealed by LGC yesterday.

This will see the county and its five districts work together to produce a “joint statutory spatial plan” which will result in 100,000 homes being built in Oxfordshire by 2031.

In return, the councils will receive “a package of government support over the next five years, including £30m a year for infrastructure and further support for affordable housing and local capacity”.

Other areas had also hoped to get a housing deal, including Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Sheffield City Council and Newark & Sherwood Homes - the arm’s length management organisation of Newark & Sherwood DC. Those three areas had kick-started discussions with the Department for Communities & Local Government over bespoke housing deals at the beginning of the year.

The Budget book said: “The government is also continuing housing deal negotiations with Greater Manchester, the West Midlands, Leeds and the West of England.”

Oxfordshire’s deal is billed as being a starting point in a drive to build up to one million new homes in the “globally significant” growth corridor between Oxford and Cambridge.

The Budget also confirms the timings of rail improvements along the corridor, with trains to run between Oxford and Milton Keynes by 2024, and road upgrades with an Expressway between the cities due to open by 2030.

Public bodies along the corridor will be expected to ”use existing mechanisms of land value capture and the new powers (subject to consultation) announced at the Budget to capture rising land values from the additional public investment”. Authorities will be asked to explore introducuing a strategic infrastructure tariff.



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