What Brandon Lewis’s Removal Means for Housing and Planning

It is clear from Brandon Lewis’s Twitter feed that he has been removed as housing and Planning minister – though much later it was announced he was moving to the Home Office.

No news at the moment on his replacement.

A sign of Teresa May’s ruthless focus on results.

It marks a new phase in the Tory approach to planning

The first ‘enemies of enterprise’ phase saw a weakening of planning and the NPPF, as well as the localism Act.  There was an uplift in housebuilding but nowhere near enough.

The second phase with the Housing and Planning Act was effectively an acceptance of low numbers with a repriorisation of those affordable houses that existed and were being built towards client groups.  There would have been no political need to do that if enugh houses were being built.

We now enter a third phase with less restrictions on government spending and intervention.  In this phase ministers will need to guarantee house building – Macmillan style.  Expect more intervention and more social housebuilding, as well as less ideological opposition to strategic planning.  The appraoch will me much more akin to the Major government.

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