Bishop of Blackburn asks about local authority spending

The Bishop of Blackburn asked a question on the New Homes Commitment on 22nd June 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Blackburn: My Lords, is it possible for a developer to pay the local authority a certain sum of money to be relieved of its responsibility, and for that local authority then to use the money elsewhere? I hear that is happening in other parts of the country.

Lord Greenhalgh (Con): My Lords, I do not recognise that you can discharge your responsibility. That is almost describing a bung—I do not think that happens. If there is an affordable housing requirement, you can choose to discharge that off-site, but you still have the requirement to deliver it. We see that in some areas where there is very high-value housing; it is simply more economic to build it elsewhere. I do not recognise that, but if the right reverend Prelate has specific examples, I am happy to look into them.


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