County's £9m 'reward' as 2,162 homes made available for families
COUNCILS in Derbyshire are to share a £9 million Government payout as a reward for providing more housing.
It comes after 1,859 homes were built in the county during the 12 months to October, with a further 303 empty homes brought back into use.
Top of the pile in the county was South Derbyshire District Council, which built 351 homes and has been awarded £1.3 million.
Derby City Council will get £2.5 million after building 311 properties.
Erewash Borough Council built a similar number but will only get £836,000 as the number of empty homes in the area increased.
Amber Valley Borough Council will receive £883,000 for building 194 homes and bringing another 136 back into use.
Under the terms of the New Homes Bonus scheme, Derbyshire County Council is entitled to a £1.3 million share, despite not being responsible for housing.
Housing Minister Mark Prisk yesterday revealed details of the allocations, which will be paid in 2013-14.
Mr Prisk said England's 353 councils would be sharing a payout of £661 million after delivering 142,000 new homes.
New housing is often opposed by people already living in an area – but Mr Prisk argued that money paid to councils under the New Homes Bonus meant the those residents would in fact benefit.
He said: "For years, developers found themselves at loggerheads with communities unconvinced that their plans would benefit them.
"But the New Homes Bonus is turning this around.
"The £1.3 billion paid out to date has meant that now local people are able to see the rewards of developments in their area – paving the way for thousands of much-needed homes to be delivered across the country."
Among the local authorities welcoming the cash payout was Amber Valley.
Councillor Norman Bull said: "The council's achievement of bringing 136 empty homes back into use illustrates its commitment to this task.
"The considerable number of additional affordable homes reflects the continuing need for such properties.
"The bonus will be used to fund further work within the council's housing strategy."