The government has announced the first round of successful projects to be awarded funding under the planning delivery fund, worth £15.8m of the total £25m available.
A total of 68 housing projects across England were identified for funding out of a total of 383 applications, according to the Ministry for Housing, Communities & Local Government.
Bidding on the remaining fund for the year 2019-20 will begin later in the year.
The planning delivery fund aims to help selected councils implement the government’s reforms of the planning system.
Housing and planning minister Dominic Raab said: “This cash boost ensures councils have the resources needed to make quicker decisions on planning applications, delivering quality housing at a faster rate.
“It’s part of our strategy to build the homes this country needs whilst also supporting residents to have their say on the kind of development that takes place in their area.”
The biggest winner was the Greater Manchester CA which will receive £950,000 towards a new planning department team.
Dudley MBC was the next biggest winner, receiving £570,000 to “support the development needs of Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton”, a spokesperson for the ministry said.
Other successful applicants include Bath & North East Somerset Council, which will receive £310,000 for an independent design review, and Hackney LBC, receiving £212,000 for a software update in its planning applications department.
The first wave of funding will be split into three pots, referred to as the joint working fund (worth £9.4m), the design quality fund (worth £4.82m) and the promoting innovation fund (worth £1.07m).
Allocations of the remaining fund for the year 2019-20 will be subject to a further bidding round to be announced at a future date.
MHCLG is preparing to launch the revised National Planning Policy Framework in the spring. According to government guidance, the new framework will make planning “less complex and more accessible”.