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29th January 2019
East Midlands construction has received more money than any other region in England over the last year in loans from the Home Building Fund.
In the 12 months to September 2018, 22 applications for development money for schemes in the East Midlands were approved. The total funding for residential schemer and associated infrastructure work to unlock sites was £152.6 million. These loans will deliver 11,994 homes.
The North West received the second largest number of loans with 19 applications approved, but only one other region received funding of more than £100 million over the past year.
In the South East, eight applications received funding of a total of £113 million to deliver 7,352 units.
Overall, including nationwide schemes, the fund approved 99 loans for residential development or site infrastructure work. This funding of £714.8 million is expected to deliver 48,742 units.
Table 1: Home Builders Fund grants 2017/18
Big and small
The average size of loans over the past year was £7.2 million, but this masks huge regional disparities.
In London, just one loan of £65 million was agreed. At the opposite end of the scale, the average size of a loan to the nine approved schemes in the North East was £1.5 million. In Yorkshire & the Humber, the average loan for the 18 approved developments was just £2.8 million
On average, applications took 446 days before being approved.
Homes England explains: “The average timescale for these investments is 446 days from submission to contract, however this is largely skewed by timescales on some of the larger more complex deals. The range of the timescale for approval is 71 days to 1,370 days.”
Table 2: Home Builders Fund stopped applications 2016-18
In the two years since the fund opened in September 2016, 660 applications were also stopped by Homes England and the north is suffering most.
The applications were stopped, says Homes England, for a variety of reasons ranging from “site specific” issues to proposals failing to meet the “investment or risk parameters laid down in the application process.”
A quarter of the stopped applications are in the north, where the wait for a rejection took substantially longer than the rest of England.
In the North East, 21 of the 23 applications took 100 or more days before being stopped. The longest wait on one scheme was 573 days.
In the North West, 71 of 76 applications took more than 100 days to be halted. One applicant waited 611 days.
In Yorkshire & the Humber, 60 out of 72 applications took 100 days or more before being stopped. One applicant waited 645 days.
The longest single wait for rejection was in the West Midlands, where one application was stopped after 699 days.
Homes England has said that stopped schemes could be reconsidered if there is a “change of circumstances”.
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