Odds-on favourite to be PM to set out deregulatory investment zone plan to create new towns

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Liz Truss will today set out plans to remove planning restrictions and other regulations to boost housebuilding and other development in new ‘investment zones’.

Truss, who is now odds-on to beat Rishi Sunak to become Conservative leader, said the new zones are ‘at the heart of my vision for levelling up”

She said: “We will work with local communities to identify sites ripe for transformation across the country through lower taxes, reduced planning restrictions and red tape. These zones would open the floodgates to new waves of investment.”

Truss said the move will create “new hubs for innovation and enterprise” in the spirit of Victorian model villages such as Bournville in Birmingham and Saltaire, in Yorkshire.

liz truss

Liz Truss is currently odds-on favourite to be Britain’s next prime minister (pic: Shutterstock)

She added: “My investment zones will rejuvenate local areas in the same way the London Docklands was regenerated, with new jobs in the industries of the future.”

She said under her plan Britain will play to its strength “as a science and tech superpower”.

Truss did not in her piece spell out the exact nature of her planned deregulation.

However according to reports the zones will have areas focused on commercial, residential or industrial development and a streamlined residential planning process on the periphery. Height restrictions and other building regulations could also be relaxed, although Truss’ team is reportedly insisting no safety restrictions will be watered down. Truss’s campaign team has been approached for comment.

See also>> Sunak v Truss: their track records on housing

See also>> Housing Today launches campaign for A Fair Deal for Housing

See also>> 300,000 homes a year is achievable if we can remove barriers to delivery

The move follows Truss last week promising to ditch central ‘Stalinist’ housing targets, implying she would ditch the Conservative manifesto pledge to increase house building to 300,000 homes year by the mid-2020s.


Bournville was built in the late 1800s for Cadbury chocolate factory workers

This would go against Housing Today’s A Fair Deal for Housing campaign, which is calling on the government to re-commit to building 300,000 homes a year with a proper plan to get housebuilding going.

A Fair Deal for Housing

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Housing Today believes the government should not back away from its manifesto pledge of building 300,000 new homes a year by the middle of the decade. We badly need more homes, and a lack of supply is a major factor in creating problems of affordability for both buyers and renters.

Over the next few months, Housing Today  will be exploring potential solutions to help us ramp up housebuilding to 300,000. These are likely to include different ways of working, funding asks of government and policy ideas that could boost housebuilding.

We want to hear from you: what do you think can make a difference at a policy level?

What can the industry do better?

We believe that, with the right commitments from ministers and the industry, it is possible to build more homes and help the government to meet its objectives to “build beautiful”, improve quality and safety, boost home ownership and level up the UK.

Click here to find out more about the campaign