SUFFOLK councils will receive £1.6m during the next financial year under a Government scheme which aims to encourage the building of new homes.

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The money is coming under the New Homes Bonus, which sees councils passed extra money if they give planning permission to new residential properties.

The cash will be handed to the county’s seven district authorities after they approved 1,403 new homes last year meaning the councils will have received a total £7.2m from the scheme in the last 3 years.

Housing minister Mark Prisk said: “For years, developers found themselves at loggerheads with communities unconvinced that their plans for growth would benefit them. But the New Homes Bonus is turning this around.”

Under the scheme if an authority approves new housing it receives a sum from the government equivalent to the council tax chargeable on each of the extra properties every year for the next six years, plus a further £350 annually if the home is deemed “affordable”.

Ipswich approved 140 new homes last year and brought 43 empty properties back into use. In total 163 of them were affordable, meaning the town’s council netted an extra £241,271.

Waveney approved 142 new homes and brought 100 back into use, with 40 of the total being affordable. They got £238,410. Meanwhile Forest Heath approved 165 and brought 24 back into use. Of those 79 were affordable, netting the council £242,783.

St Edmundsbury approved 148 new homes of which 35 were affordable. However the council ended up with five extra properties registered as empty by the end of the year. The authority gained £179,501.

Mr Prisk added: “The £1.3bn paid out to councils [across the country] to date has meant that now local people are able to see the rewards of new developments in their area; paving the way for thousands of much-needed, locally-supported homes to be delivered across the country.”

Babergh approved 199 properties of which 134 were affordable, but was left 27 extra empty properties. It received £226,091. Mid Suffolk approved 366 homes of which 81 were affordable, but ended up with 81 extra empty properties. It received £333,714.

Meanwhile Suffolk Coastal approved 243 properties, 23 of which were affordable. But it ended up with an extra 101 empty properties. It received £181,918.

In Essex; Braintree, Chelmsford, Colchester and Tendring councils approved 1,843 of which 625 are affordable, meaning between them the authorities will get £2.4m from the New Homes Bonus this year.

Suffolk: Councils set for £1.6m boost for granting planning permission for new homes

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