On Saturday 26th October Government announced the details of how local authorities could access a £10million capacity fund for ‘business backed’ development corporations and ‘similar delivery bodies’. Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP announced that the fund, originally outlined in the 2018 Autumn Budget, would be made available via a competition for up to 10 ‘transformational housing and growth opportunities’ to explore a range of delivery options. The fund will be available for a 3-year period from 2019/2020, with applications welcome on a rolling basis. This will include a new Development Corporation at Toton in Nottinghamshire, to be led by the former chairman of Burberry, Sir John Peace.

A consultation on Development Corporation reform (Deadline 21 December) was launched alongside the competition.

The TCPA is delighted that the Government has recognised the potential role of Development Corporations to transform large-scale housing delivery, and reforming the legislation is a huge opportunity to make them fit-for-purpose.  Our research has demonstrated that modernising Development Corporations should focus on reforming their objectives, public participation requirements and meeting duties such as those aimed at tackling climate change. Ignoring these factors risks missing an opportunity to harness the potential of these powerful bodies to deliver quality places and speed up the delivery of genuinely affordable homes.

The TCPA will continue its engagement with the department on this subject and will be responding to the consultation in December.