Michael Gove, Department for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities, c Department for Levelling Up, Housing, and Commmuniteis via CC BY . bit.ly SLASH GCfAZ

Michael Gove said brownfield presumption will tackle under-delivery. Credit: Department for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities, via CC BY 3.0, bit.ly/43GCfAZ. Image has been cropped.

Gove looks to ‘turbo-charge’ brownfield

Secretary of State Michael Gove wants to speed up brownfield homebuilding and relax restrictions around commercial-to-residential conversions as the government looks to address the housing crisis.

The move comes on the back of Biodiversity Net Gain rules being enshrined in law as part of the Town & Country Planning Act, with all new schemes in England having to now achieve a 10% gain as of yesterday.

Looking to boost brownfield development over Green Belt incursions, the government said today that every council in England will be told that they will need to prioritise brownfield developments and will be “instructed to be less bureaucratic and more flexible in applying policies that halt housebuilding on brownfield land”.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities said that the bar for refusing brownfield plans “will also be made much higher for those big city councils who are failing to hit their locally agreed housebuilding targets”.

As the government seeks to address issues constantly raised in the media about young families being able to afford homes, DLUHC said that planning authorities in England’s 20 largest cities and towns will be made to follow a ‘brownfield presumption’ should housebuilding drop below expected levels.

This is essentially a rollout from the review of the London Plan commissioned by Gove before Christmas, and will “put rocket boosters under brownfield regeneration projects across the country” according to DLUHC.

A consultation on the proposals has been launched today and will run until 26 March. The government said that it will look to implement changes to national planning policy as soon as possible.

In a familiar refrain, the government said it is also “helping developers overcome tiresome bureaucracy by slashing red tape that stops derelict sites and unused buildings being turned into new homes”.

Legislation laid in Parliament today will extend current permitted development rights, so that commercial buildings of any size can be converted into residential, easing the ability of developers to convert shops, offices and other buildings into residential without scrutiny.

Gove said: “Today marks another important step forward in our Long-Term Plan for Housing, taking a brownfield first approach to deliver thousands of new homes where people want to live and work, without concreting over the countryside.

“Our new brownfield presumption will tackle under delivery in our key towns and cities – where new homes are most needed to support jobs and drive growth.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “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.

“We are sticking to our plan and are on track to meet our commitment to deliver one million homes over the course of this Parliament, and the changes announced today will deliver the right mix of homes across England.”

The government has launched a further consultation on giving homeowners greater ability to extend, by further altering the size threshold of extensions and loft conversions for which planning permission is required.

In a further move, Gove has said that section 21 “no-fault” evictions will be banned this year.

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Anyone who still believes the Tories will do the things they say they will is naive in the extreme. The Tories are only here to pillage the UK for their hedge fund friends before they lose the election

By Anonymous

Not the Turbo-Charging again. Get the North building and making things again, wasn’t that the sound bite from Nick Clegg, Turbo-Charge the North’s infrastructure and create a Northern Powerhouse, Cameron and Osborne, then cancel the high speed train to its two most successful cities and don’t even start NPR. If this government actually fulfilled all this Turbo-Charging, our heads would be spinning up here.

By Elephant

Liverpool planning Dept are trembling .

By Anonymous

Re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic…

By Mr Ice Berg

The Government’s own review into permitted developments in commercial buildings has shown what poor quality is produced – effectively building tomorrow’s slums. It’s just a disaster waiting to happen, and I hesitate to bring it up but I fear we’ll see another Grenfell before too long. I don’t know any local authority that is “bureaucratic and inflexible” (as Gove implies) in wanting to see brownfield land developed. It’s brownfield for a reason – there are infrastructure, remediation challenges and abnormal costs which make viability challenging. Add in the faltering economy and construction price increases relative to value and without hard gap funding cash the situation will remain. So…Gove…sho’ them the money and councils can then talk about brownfield land regeneration.

By Sceptic

Usual terrible, counter-productive and performative nonsense that fails to get to grips with the real issues and does far too little address their failures of housing strategy (sic) to date. Risible.

By Unlevelled for balance

And yet the Tories were the only ones to actually do anything for the North, Hesletine for Liverpool and Osbourne for Manchester. Not this lot of course, they don’t even pretend to care anymore and that was the same and will be as such for Labour. Time for a great reform in Politics.

By Anonymous

Do you think Gove has worked out the delays in the delivery of new high density (higher than 18m / 7 storeys) that will flow from the introduction of the Building Safety Act (and the Gateway 2 requirements)? Hopefully PNW will do a piece on this issue as the time delays that will inevitably flow will have several impacts on scheme viability as well as the scale and timing of housing delivery in places like Manchester.

By Anonymous

More buildings = more traffic = more emissions

By Gilly

The way to turbo-charge deveIopment is to change pIanning so that appIications recommended for approvaI by the paid professionaIs – aka PIanning Officers – cant be refused by Pianning Committees withour proving that the reason for refusaI is that the appIication bIatantIy ignores IocaI pIanning guidance. I.E Stop pandering to the Nimbys!!!

By David SIeath

What a ringing endorsement for Wirral Labours brownfield first policy!!

By Piermaster

Starting to deal with the housing shortage when a general election is due imminently.

By Anonymous

You already abandoned the north, red wall is coming again.

By Anonymous

Well, well, well: all those detractors of Wirral’s ‘brownfield first’ strategy, hang your heads.

By Birket Boy

More buildings in walkable and cyclist-friendly neighbourhoods = less car traffic traffic = less emissions

By Rye&Eggs

Gove loves getting turbo charged, you should see him on the dancefloor

By Cheggers

@February 13, 2024 at 1:05 pm
By Anonymous

Slightly unfair – the current Government has been supportive of Lancashire for example, as well as Teesside and parts of Yorkshire.

Otherwise, you’re bang on.

By Rye&Eggs

Both Tory and Labour are both funded by same hedge fund manager and tax exiles who don’t have to care who wins election because Starmer will just carry on doing exactly the same as Sunak.

By Toby Jones

Blah Blah Blah – been in power 14 years and only now decides to turbo charge house building, anyone would think there is an election looming!

By Anonymous

So a Tory politician, a so-calle Minister, in London is telling or rather asking local councils to do things differently. Wow! And the PM says the government is going to build more homes as promised. Wow! Things are really going to happen. Wow! After 20 years of shrink the state, sack civil servants, scrap all rules and regulations, let unregulated capital and the unregulated market turn our lives into bliss, Tory politicians are relling telling people what to do and if they do not they will get very vexed.

By Anonymous

Brownfield sites galore in Central Liverpool with opportunities to provide thousands of homes, however a number of barriers to remove first. Tell Liverpool’s councillors and planners to remove their ludicrous height limitations so buildings can offer more homes, second force the many rogue landowners who purchased on the cheap to build or sell up. Third have a word with Peel and suggest they spend some of their own money on Liverpool and Wirral Waters instead of waiting for others to put their hands in their pockets.

By Anonymous

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