Local house building targets are back, new Chancellor announces

Rachel Reeves says each area will be given a quota for new homes, and planning will be overhauled to make sure it doesn't get in the way.



Chancellor Rachel Reeves has promised to reinstate local housing targets and ensure council planning departments don’t slow building down.

In her first speech as the new Chancellor, she said each area will be given a quota of homes. “We will bring back these mandatory housing targets”, she said during her speech at HM Treasury to business leaders, investors and journalists.

The answer cannot always be no.”

Also, local authorities will not be allowed to consistently block building, she insisted. “So the answer cannot always be no; if the answer is always no, the living standards will continue to decline.

“Our golden rules will make sure the development this frees up will allow us to deliver thousands of the affordable homes too, including more for social rent,” she said.

“We have got to ensure that families can get on the housing ladder,” she added.

But Reeves also said she wanted to see Section 21 evictions banned, saying that: “For those in the private rented sector we will finally get rid of ‘no fault’ evictions to help those not fortunate enough to either own their own home or have access to social housing”.

Grey belt

Deputy Prime Minister Angela Rayner will write to councils instructing them to prioritise brownfield and grey belt land for building, it was also revealed after Labour set a national target of 1.5 million new homes within five years.

Reeves said Labour will reform the planning system to ensure infrastructure to support new homes is also delivered. And former Tory minister Nick Boles is believed to be lined up as a new ‘Planning Tsar’ to help drive through the changes.

Industry reaction
Nathan Emerson, CEO, Propertymark

Nathan Emerson, CEO at Propertymark, says: “It is encouraging to see that the new UK Government is committed to reforming the planning system and delivering thousands of new affordable homes each year.

“Propertymark is keen to see a diverse mix of housing delivered that keeps pace with real-world demand.”

Nick Sanderson, CEO at Audley Group, says: “Labour’s plans to bring back mandatory housebuilding targets and reform the planning system signals the start of change in the housing market.

“Change that focuses on housebuilding and planning, as Rachel Reeves outlined, but while welcome, it shouldn’t stop there.”

He says more specialist housing for older people was needed to allow them to downsize.

Link to Who Goes Where housing
Roger Barrett, Land & New Homes MD, Connells Group

Roger Barrett, Land & New Homes MD at Connells Group, says: “This announcement doesn’t go far enough for me.

“There is much more that needs to done to address the issues the industry faces, including increasing supply, implementing ‘local plan’ processes to support the delivery of new homes, finding a resolution to the water neutrality requirements – which has already blocked 160,000 homes and could cause a fall of a further 41,000,

“Other actions include investing in local planning authorities and reforming planning structures, introducing an effective replacement for Help to Buy and improving economic uncertainty which, of course, is impacting market confidence.”

Tomer Aboody
Tomer Aboody, Director, MT Finance

Tomer Abody, Director at MT Finance, says: “The green belt issues have always been a cause for restrictions and arguments from local residents along with MPs.

“By potentially being more flexible on planning and encouraging developers, this could be the only way in which success can be achieved when it comes to building new homes. Without doubt, challenges will come from local residents, and how Labour navigates through these will be very interesting.”

Watch her speech in full.

Main picture: BBC

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