The revised planning framework is not as bad as feared - but don’t thank Gove

Joey Gardiner comment pic 3

The new national planning policy document will still lead to fewer homes being built, even if some of the most egregious proposals around density and green belt have been watered down, says Joey Gardiner

Over Christmas Michael Gove continued his efforts to rebrand himself – despite much contrary evidence – as a pro-housebuilding government minister, talking to The Times about potential help on the way for first-time buyers. This version of the housing secretary – Gove 2.0, if you like – was also in full operation when he launched the new version of the government’s core national planning policy document, the NPPF, in the week before the festive season began.

Gove has in his time branded the housebuilding industry a cartel, threatened to put firms out of business, cut first-time buyer support and presided over a collapse in local authority planning performance. However he claimed at the  event at the RIBA HQ on 19 December that he was a “Yimby”, “ardent for new development” and was looking to clamp down on local authorities “that have persistently under-performed in dealing with planning” to ensure homes were built.

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