Councils across England could soon receive grants to help them build homes on underused and derelict sites.

Under plans announced by the Government, the grants would refund the costs of Landfill Tax where it acts as a barrier to redeveloping brownfield and contaminated land.

A four-week Call for Evidence will seek views on the need for, and design of, a scheme to support councils overcome the Landfill Tax burden.

The move – which could happen as early as this Autumn – would help build more homes and businesses on brownfield sites, protecting the environment and public health.

Environment Minister Lord Benyon said: “This grant will help councils build new homes and businesses on derelict eyesore sites – delivering more homes, and regenerating towns and cities.

“Landfill tax has done a fantastic job in preventing unnecessary waste – but it’s important it doesn’t act as a barrier to regeneration.”

Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury Alan Mak said: “Ensuring that communities across England have the tools to transform their local areas is central to our levelling up mission.

“I’m delighted that we’re exploring this bold new scheme which could remove unintended barriers for local authorities who want the best for their communities, whilst protecting our natural environment from contamination.”

The Call for Evidence welcomes views on how to ensure a grant scheme would not undermine the waste hierarchy or incentivise illegal dumping. Under plans, applicants would need to demonstrate that use of landfill is reasonably necessary, and steps have been taken to minimise the quantity of waste that will be landfilled.