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Robert Jenrick plans to get Britain building

Thursday 12 March 2020

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP has set out proposals to bring Britain’s planning system into the 21st century as part of plans to get the country building. The announcement sets our further details of measures announced in yesterday’s Spring budget.

Big plans ahead

Councils will be encouraged to take a more innovative approach to home building – by ensuring redevelopment of high streets is housing-led, building upwards and above and around stations.

The Government is also planning ambitious and radical reforms to the planning system by speeding up the decision-making process, so homes can be built more quickly.

Brownfield developments

The Government is set to launch a register of brownfield sites next month. The register will map out unused land to encourage councils to build on these sites first – backed by £400 million to bring this mostly unused land back to use.

Developers will be able to demolish vacant commercial, industrial and residential buildings and replace them with well-designed homes without getting delayed in a lengthy planning process. Good design and place-making will be at the heart of the new system, alongside a commitment to lower carbon emissions in all new homes – for a green revolution in housebuilding.

All local authorities will be required to have up-to-date Local Plans in place by December 2023 or see government intervention to build enough homes. The government will also review how required numbers of new homes are assessed and incentivise delivery on those numbers. 

Quote mark

I want everyone, no matter where they live, to have access to affordable, safe, quality housing and live in communities with a real sense of place – as part of our mission to level up, unite and unleash the potential of this country.

We must think boldly and creatively about the planning system to make it fit for the future, and this is just the first step, so we can deliver the homes communities need and help more young people onto the ladder.

Robert Jenrick MP, Housing Secretary 


The announcement follows a package of measures announced in the Spring 2020 Budget to build more affordable homes and speed up the planning process to deliver a promised 300,000 homes a year.

Affordable homes

A new Affordable Homes Programme, a £12 billion investment, aims to help more people to own their own home through homeownership programmes such as Right to Shared Ownership. It will also help to build more social rent homes – supporting those most at risk of homelessness.

Cladding and building safety

Mentioned in the spring budget speech, £1 billion of grant funding will help to tackle unsafe cladding systems (of all kinds) on high-rise residential buildings.

The grant funding is in addition to the £600 million already available, and the government will introduce a new Building Safety Bill, aiming to bring about major changes to building safety.

The announcements are accompanied by a white paper detailing the government’s plans, with a further white paper expected later in the year.

Planning for the future


Propertymark continues to lobby the Government on the issues that matter to our members.