Michael Gove reduces planning regulations in order to build more homes in city centers.

According to the levelling up secretary, he wants to make it simpler to convert vacant retail and betting shops into flats and houses.

However, opponents claim that such adaptations are frequently of poor quality.

It comes as Rishi Sunak vows his party will complete a million homes before the next election, which is scheduled for 2024.

According to a study released earlier this month by the Commons housing committee, while ministers are on track to fulfill their one million home objective, they are not projected to meet their second commitment to build 300,000 new homes per year by the mid-2020s.

‘Brass collar’

Hitting that goal became more difficult after the government was forced to scale back its housing ambitions for local governments in response to a violent backlash from its own MPs.

The prime minister stated that his government would not be “concreting over the countryside,” adding, “Our plan is to build the right homes in the heart of Britain’s great cities, where there is the most need and where there is local support.”

“It takes some serious brass neck for the Tories to make yet more promises when the housing crisis has gone from bad to worse on their watch,” Labour’s shadow housing secretary Lisa Nandy said.

Mr Gove stated in a speech in central London that the government will “unambiguously, unapologetically, and intensively concentrating our biggest efforts in the hearts of our cities.”

He went on to say that he will “use all of the levers at our disposal to promote urban regeneration rather than swallowing up virgin land.”

He stated that he wants to make it simpler to convert stores, eateries, and betting shops into homes as part of his ambition to create more homes.

This concept has been around for a while, with ministers conducting a consultation on such measures in 2013.

‘Super team’

According to the Local Government Association, offices, stores, and barns are not always ideal for housing and may result in the construction of low-quality dwellings.

Mr Gove also wants to loosen restrictions on commercial building additions and agricultural building reuse.

To expedite large developments, the government will form a “super squad” of planners to unblock specific projects; the team’s first assignment will be a development in Cambridge. Developers will be requested to pay greater fees to fund planning system changes.

Conservative MP for South Cambridgeshire Anthony Browne has tweeted: “I will do everything I can to stop the government’s nonsense plans to impose mass housebuilding on Cambridge, where all major developments are now blocked by the Environment Agency because we have quite literally run out of water.”

In response to the criticism, Mr Sunak stated, “No one is doing mass house building in Cambridge, this is about adding a new urban quarter to Cambridge.”

He went on to say that initiatives would be made “in dialogue with local communities” and that Westminster would not “ride roughshod” over their concerns.

The administration has struggled with the issue of developing more dwellings. While there is a high demand for housing, particularly among younger people who are trying to get on the property ladder, new housing developments have been unpopular in Conservative heartlands.

Mr Gove’s initiatives, according to the National Housing Federation, are “a positive start,” but “nowhere near the scale or ambition that is required.”

Rhys Moore, the body’s head of public impact, said the changes to the planning process were “relatively piecemeal” and urged for more investment in social housing – dwellings available for cheaper rents.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said in May that his party would allow English municipalities more authority to build on green belt land, but that new constructions would be prohibited if they harmed “the beauty of our countryside.”

He promised to make “tough decisions” and to “back the builders, not the blockers.”

Labour has also stated that it will reestablish local housing targets and modify the planning system to make building on brownfield lands easier.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *