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Government threatens councils that ‘drag feet’ on house building will face intervention ‒ reports

  • 19/12/2023
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Government threatens councils that ‘drag feet’ on house building will face intervention ‒ reports
Michael Gove is to threaten councils that delay or deny legitimate house building that they will be removed from the planning process.

According to reports, the secretary of state for levelling up, housing and communities will give a speech today about tackling the nation’s housing shortage.

His department is due to publish its national planning policy framework today, which will set out how local authorities can calculate their multi-year housing targets. 

Reports suggest that Gove (pictured) will state that councils have three months in order to put those housing plans in place, and if they fail to do so they face having plans forced upon them from central government. In addition, they could lose the power to delay applications indefinitely, as well as being stripped of their planning responsibilities.

House building targets

However, the framework is also likely to confirm that actual housing targets for councils are being watered down. It is expected that local authorities will be able to set lower housebuilding targets if they are able to argue that using population-based formula for setting targets would mean changing the character of an area, or mean they needed to build on greenbelt land.

This follows extensive pressure from backbench Conservative MPs who have pushed back against greater levels of development, since such building work is unlikely to be popular with their existing constituents. 

The news comes after figures from the Home Builders Federation found that the number of housing projects granted planning permission in the third quarter of the year dropped to a new record low.

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