BOROUGH chiefs have been awarded more than £9 million to speed up housebuilding in Winsford.

Homes England, the Government’s housing agency, has agreed funding deals worth £14,677,800 with Cheshire West and Chester Council to help prepare five sites for an expected 737 new homes – including 537 in Winsford.

It includes deals to prepare three developments in Winsford, plus one in Chester and one in Ellesmere Port.

The cash is part of the Government’s £350 million Local Authority Accelerated Construction (LAAC) programme, which aims to speed up the housebuilding process by helping to prepare public land for development.

Stephen Kinsella, chief land and development officer at Homes England, said: “This funding will enable local authorities to prepare their sites for development and to bring forward the construction of homes.

“New homes will then be built out at pace using modern methods of construction.”

A total of £4,590,000 will go towards preparing land behind the Verdin Exchange for 310 new homes, including a 60-home extra care retirement scheme.

A further £4,233,000 will be used on preparing land at Wharton Green for 140 new homes, while £1,009,800 will be spent preparing the Handley Hill site for 87 new homes.

Cllr Richard Beacham, cabinet member for housing, regeneration and growth, said: “There is a national housing crisis and this grant funding means that we can bring forward these plans to deal with some of the pressures we are experiencing locally.

“This council already has a very successful housing delivery programme, so any additional funding from Homes England is welcomed because it will keep us at the forefront of residential development in the borough for the next five years.”

CWAC is one of six authorities announced this week to receive a funding deal, which will speed up the construction of more than 2,000 homes across the country.

The Council will work with partner developers and housing associations to develop, deliver and manage the new homes.

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Homes England is encouraging CWAC to use local firms and modern methods of construction on the sites as part of the project.