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Housing secretary promises ‘beginning of a planning revolution’

Robert Jenrick has announced plans to reform the ‘outdated, contradictory planning system’ as part of his speech to the Conservative Party conference.

The housing and communities secretary told delegates today (September 30) in Manchester that he wanted to ‘follow in the footsteps of Conservative reformers’ and ‘get this country building’.

‘I’m announcing new freedoms, including to build upward so that your home can grow as your family does too,’ said Mr Jenrick.

‘Reducing conditions, speeding up consent. Better funded local planning in return for efficient service. The beginning of a planning revolution.

‘Thirdly, no new home will be built in the country from 2025 without low carbon heating and the highest levels of energy efficiency,’ he added.

Mr Jenrick also announced the first national design guide for homes, which an emphasis on green infrastructure and said he would also ask every community to produce their own.

He said the new national guide would empowering people to make sure that ‘development works for them’, in keeping with the local heritage and vernacular, with ‘each new street lined with trees’.

Chancellor Sajid Javid also spoke at the Conservative Party conference today and promised to bring forward a White Paper on further devolution in England.

Although details remain scant, he said it would give local areas ‘more local powers to drive investments in the infrastructure and services they know they need’.

Responding to Mr Jenrick’s comments about planning, the Local Government Association’s planning spokesman, Cllr David Renard, said: ‘Planning is not a barrier to house-building, with councils approving nine in 10 planning applications. It is essential that councils and local communities have a voice in the planning process.

‘We reiterate our call for the government to give councils the powers to invest in new homes for those who need them, such as by urgently reforming the Right to Buy scheme, in addition to powers to get the hundreds of thousands of homes with planning permission built more quickly.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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