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South Lakeland gains £750k and MP suggests funds be spent on community schemes

December 19, 2014 3:22 PM

Creating a thriving high street in Kendal and other towns in South Lakeland is a key Council Plan priority for SLDC. (South Lakeland District Council)South Lakes MP Tim Farron has welcomed the news that South Lakeland will gain over £750,000 in new homes funding and has urged the authority to spend improving community facilities.

In a letter to Tim, Brandon Lewis MP, Minister of State for Housing and Planning said:

"I am writing to announce the 2015-16 allocations of the New Homes Bonus for South Lakeland. These allocations are provisional, to allow local authorities to check the data used in the calculation. The allocations will total £1.167 billion for English local authorities in 2015-16. Taken together with instalments from previous years, this brings the total amount of funding awarded under the New Homes Bonus to almost £3.4 billion. The total number of net additional homes rewarded over the period is over 800,000. That includes over 100,000 empty homes brought back into use and over 200,000 affordable homes provided

The Bonus ensures that those local authorities which promote and welcome growth can share in the economic benefits, and build the communities in which people want to live and work. Councils are free to spend the Bonus as they choose, including on front-line services and keeping council tax low.

The number of planning permissions for new homes has risen to 230,000 in the twelve months to June 2014, showing that our locally-led planning system and incentives like the New Homes Bonus are working well.

The New Homes Bonus provisional allocation for South Lakeland will total £737,654. This includes an affordable homes premium of £23,240."

South Lakeland District Council have decided to use these New Homes Bonus funds to address the needs of local communities by dividing the funds into two areas:

  • 40% for Locally Important Projects
  • 60% for Housing and Neighbourhood Planning

Tim has said the money must be spent quickly in our area. He pointed to the need to improve facilities on the Kendal Parks estate, specifically he suggested that the play area and residents parking would be a 'great use' of the funding. Tim also said funds should be put into improving cycling infrastructure in Kendal and throughout South Lakeland. The final suggestion the MP had was to spend funds on supporting and improving community centres/halls in rural villages.

He has also urged local residents to get in touch if they have ideas for projects that could be funded. Tim has asked that people email him at tim@timfarron.co.uk or call him on 01539 723403 with their ideas.

Tim said: "This money is incredibly welcome and I have put forward some ideas on what this £750,000 could be spent on, but I'd love local residents to get in touch with me with their ideas and I will take them to the council. This funding must be spent on improving facilities for people like improving the play area on the Kendal Parks estate, bringing in residents parking on Hayclose Road and improving infrastructure for cycling in our area."