Housing minister Lee Rowley has insisted the federal government has “got to have targets” for constructing properties – regardless of ministers dropping the ambition.
In its 2019 manifesto, the Conservative Party pledged to construct 300,000 new homes every year by the mid-2020s if it acquired into energy.
But the determine has by no means been achieved, and in December 2022, Housing Secretary Michael Gove confirmed it had been watered down after a backbench backlash – which noticed Tory MPs threaten to vote towards their very own occasion’s pledge within the Commons.
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Last summer time, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak defended the scrapping of the goal, saying Tory members, activists and councillors expressed “no support” for “nationally imposed, top-down set of targets… telling them what to do”.
It led to Labour’s then shadow levelling up secretary, Lisa Nandy, accusing him of placing occasion earlier than the nation.
But showing on Sky News this morning to debate the federal government’s newest housing coverage, Mr Rowley sounded a lot keener for a set determine.
The minister – who in November turned the sixteenth housing minister because the Conservatives took energy in 2010 – informed Kay Burley: “We’ve got to have targets. If you haven’t got targets, there’s no way to [make progress].”
Sky News has now been informed by a supply on the Department for Levelling Up that “no housing targets have changed”, and ministers nonetheless plan to “meet our ambition to deliver 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s”.
A supply near Mr Gove additionally insisted the principle goal “remains”, including: “We just provided flexibilities to councils.”
Meanwhile, the federal government is planning to power councils in England to prioritise developments on brownfield websites, telling them to be “less bureaucratic and more flexible” over insurance policies inflicting boundaries to constructing.
The bar for refusing brownfield plans might be made “much higher” for giant councils failing to satisfy regionally set targets.
And because of this, ministers hope it’ll improve the variety of properties being constructed, in addition to defending the inexperienced belt.
Mr Sunak stated: “We pledged to build the right homes in the right places – protecting our precious countryside and building more in urban areas where demand is highest. Today’s package is us delivering on that.”