Government acts to unblock key ‘stalled sites’ to get large housing schemes moving forward

The government is taking swift action to identify and unblock key ‘stalled sites’ to get large housing schemes moving forward, starting with four sites across England to unlock over 14,000 homes: Liverpool Central Docks, Northstowe, Worcester Parkway and Langley Sutton Coldfield.

The chancellor Rachel Reeves has also welcomed the deputy prime minister Angel Rayner’s commitment to make the economic benefit of development a central consideration when intervening in the planning system. This starts today by recovering two appealed planning applications for data centres in Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire.

To facilitate this new approach, the deputy PM will also write to local mayors and the Office for Investment to ensure that any investment opportunity with important planning considerations that comes across their desks is brought to her attention and to the chancellor’s. The aim is to help ensure the planning system can unlock major schemes from clean energy projects and transport infrastructure to film studios and art-entertainment venues.

The chancellor has also confirmed that the government will support local authorities with 300 additional planning officers across the country.

Further announcements will be made in the coming weeks to accelerate the development of housing and infrastructure, including launching a landmark consultation on an updated, growth-focused National Planning Policy Framework to include mandatory housing targets and a requirement to review greenbelt boundaries where necessary to meet them.

These, the government says, will prioritise Brownfield and “grey belt” land for development to meet housing targets where needed, partnered with new ‘golden rules’ that will make sure the development this frees up will also deliver thousands of affordable homes, including more for social rent.

The current planning regime acts as a major brake on economic growth which is why the government plans to make changes, enabling the country to forge ahead with new roads, railways, reservoirs, and other nationally significant infrastructure.

The government will set out new policy intentions for critical infrastructure in the coming months, ahead of updating relevant National Policy Statements within the next 12 months to provide certainty to industry.

The move forms part of the chancellor’s pledge to take immediate action to fix the foundations of the economy and rebuild Britain.

“By growing our economy we can rebuild Britain and make every part of the country better off,” said Reeves.


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