The prime minister Rishi Sunak says that the government will meet its manifesto pledge to build 1 million new homes in this Parliament.
With the Tories struggling in the polls and the UK in the midst of a housing crisis, the Conservative Party is desperate to show that it is succeeding when its is comes to housebuilding (despite scrapping its new homes target last year).
Since 2010, the government says that more than 2.2 million new homes have been built and millions of people have moved into home ownership.
Crucially, the government will meet its manifesto commitment to build 1 million homes over this parliament, the prime minister, Rishi Sunak, said yesterday.
The pledge came ahead of a major speech by the housing and levelling up secretary, Michael Gove, yesterday in which he will set out new measures to unblock the planning system and build more homes in the right places where there is local consent.
Sunak said: “I can confirm that we will meet our manifesto commitment to build one million homes over this Parliament. That’s a beautiful new home for a million individual families in every corner of our country.
“We need to keep going because we want more people to realise the dream of owning their own home.
“We won’t do that by concreting over the countryside – our plan is to build the right homes where there is the most need and where there is local support, in the heart of Britain’s great cities.
“Our reforms today will help make that a reality, by regenerating disused brownfield land, streamlining planning process and helping homeowners to renovate and extend their houses outwards and upwards.”
Gove added: “Most people agree that we need to build more homes – the question is how we go about it.
“Rather than concreting over the countryside, we have set out a plan today to build the right homes in the right places where there is community support – and we’re putting the resources behind it to help make this vision a reality.
“At the heart of this is making sure that we build beautiful and empower communities to have a say in the development in their area.”
The government states that it will also take steps to unblock the bottlenecks in the planning system that are choking and slowing down development, and stopping growth and investment by:
+ Immediately launching a £24 million Planning Skills Delivery Fund to clear backlogs and get the right skills in place.
+ Setting up a new “super-squad” team of leading planners and other experts charged with working across the planning system to unblock major housing developments. The team will first be deployed in Cambridge to turbocharge our plans in the city.
Developers will also be asked to contribute more through fees, to help support a higher quality more efficient planning service.
New flexibilities to convert shops, takeaways and betting shops into homes will help to rejuvenate the high street. Meanwhile, red tape will be cut to enable barn conversions and the repurposing agricultural buildings and disused warehouses.
New freedoms to extend homes, convert lofts and renovate new buildings will help to convert existing properties into new accommodation. A review into the extension of permitted development rights will make it easier for homeowners to build upwards and outwards – with new extensions and loft conversions – whilst ensuring neighbours’ interests are protected.
Community support is vital in making these plans a success and the housing secretary has been clear any developments must be beautiful, come with the right infrastructure and designed with locals in mind. That is why the Housing Secretary also yesterday announced:
+ Office for Place – a new body will be launched today to lead a design revolution and ensure local people have a say in how housing is designed.
+ A consultation on reforming local plans, to make them simpler, shorter and more visual, showing clearly what is planned in local areas so communities can engage.
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