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Article date - 01 March 2018
In St Helens, 401 new homes were delivered last year with over 20 per cent of those being affordable homes.
Introduced by the Government in 2011 to support and reward local communities for new housing development, the New Homes Bonus is based on the number of additional homes, including those brought back into use, added to the Council Tax register.
The scheme was designed to ensure that the economic benefits of housing growth are returned to Councils and communities where that growth takes place.
Over the previous five years from 1 April 2012 until 31 March 2017 a total of 2,461 homes were completed in St Helens. Of these 78 per cent (1,927) were on previously-developed, brownfield land.
Cllr John Fulham, St Helens Council’s Cabinet Member for Growth, said:
“St Helens isn’t the biggest borough but it is the second most popular place in the City Region, behind Liverpool, for new homes growth. These homes do not stand empty and the sheer number of people buying new homes here is a statement of confidence in the future of St Helens.
“Nearly 4/5ths (78 per cent) of new home are built on recycled brownfield land, helping to limit the impact of growth on the environment, and our draft Local Plan will also see over 60 per cent of new homes built on recycled brownfield land.
“The New Homes Bonus grants the council an immediate cash boost, helping to deliver more new homes for residents and provide the services our residents deserve and expect, at a time when our central Government grant will be cut by £507 per person by 2020.
“New homes are just one way we aim to fund services, alongside new jobs in logistics and manufacturing, and our regenerated town centres in St Helens and Earlestown. Only by going for growth can we secure a prosperous future for our businesses and residents.”
Recent large-scale housing developments include Waterside Village, Eccleston Grange and Vulcan Place – providing over 1,500 new dwellings – and there have also been numerous small-scale, bespoke developments.
This range of housing includes properties for rent and purchase in desirable locations across the borough, with a mix of sizes, from one and two bedrooms for first-time buyers, affordable homes and more expensive homes with four bedrooms and above.