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£525m Builders' Finance Fund: Only £1m allocated

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This article was in the BBC news today £525m Builders' Finance Fund: Only £1m allocated. 

Its clearly disappointing that this money has not been allocated and clearly won’t be used by time it is withdrawn in March 2017. It is no doubt partly because of the complexity and red tape involved in obtaining the funds. However it may also be because in fact financing is widely available for the very projects this funding is aimed at especially in the South East. At a breakfast seminar held by Strutt and Parker at Writtle College today Jim Crafford of Strutt and Parker stated that there are about 45 main stream lenders looking to lend between £1 million and £10 million on individual projects involving residential development. He also stated that the cost of borrowing was at an all time low. So perhaps we have to look at other reasons why the funding is not being used. Part of the problem is lack of opportunity and the time it takes for planning permission to be granted. Also there is a lack of the skilled labour to actually be able to build the homes. Luckily in Chelmsford we have a city council which very much believes that development is good and necessary for the well being of the borough. The publication of the local plan is due next month and at the same seminar Neil Gulliver of Chelmsford City Council stated that they were hoping to have built in the borough 935 homes a year for the next 20 years. That is an ambitious but perfectly attainable target.