New housebuilding and planning targets given the thumbs up

Britain’s new chancellor, Rachel Reeves MP, has hit the ground running, announcing a raft of targets for the housing sector.

In her first speech in her new job, she promised an overhaul of the planning system, an additional 300 planning officers for local authorities across the country and 1.5 million homes to be built in the next five years.

Promising to “get Britain building again” she said: “We will reform the National Planning Policy Framework and we are consulting on a new growth-focused approach to the planning system before the end of the month.

“It will still be in the first instance up to local communities and local authorities to decide where housing is built. But we will bring back those mandatory housing targets.”

She said she had been in discussion with deputy prime minister Angela Rayner MP who will write to planning authorities to ensure they prioritise brownfield and greybelt land to meet those housing targets where needed.

Recognising not everyone will be happy about her plans she said: “All governments face difficult decisions and I will not shirk from those decisions.”

The promises of action in her speech have been given the thumbs up by Sheldon Bosley Knight’s planning, strategic land and new homes departments.

Associate director and head of the planning and architecture department, Natasha Blackmore da Silva said: “Following on from the new chancellor’s speech, I am cautiously optimistic. Along with the other crises the UK is facing, including climate change, the housing crisis is close to breaking point, and it deserves to be one of the top priorities of the new government.

“I, along with many in the property and construction industry, welcome the announcement. It is going to take time to undo the changes made by the previous government and I think we need more than a simple speech to show that Labour intends to achieve their promises.

“It may be a bit too early to get our hard hats and shovels out just yet, but it is a definite step in the right direction.”

Associate director Nik Kyriacou added: “This should kick start the much-needed ripple effect towards more new homes across the county.

“With more house building being green lighted, a more balanced supply and demand should evolve in the marketplace allowing a greater choice for buyers at a more affordable level.”

Associate director Charles Davis said: “The comments by the new chancellor provide a welcome jab in the arm for the industry which will help to change the rhetoric within the marketplace in recent years through the restoration of housing targets for local councils among other policies.”