The Chancellor, Rachel Reeves, sets out her plans for planning system reform in her first major speech today. The reforms put economic growth at the heart of the system.

Ms Reeves was keen to stress that labour would “grasp the nettle of planning reform” and laid out her 7-point plan.

  1. Reform the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), including restoring mandatory housing targets. Ending the ban on new onshore wind in England and making decisions on large onshore wind developments nationally not locally
  2. Prioritise swift progress of energy projects already in the planning system and expand spatial plan for energy to include other infrastructure sectors
  3. Create new taskforce to accelerate stored housing sites beginning with Liverpool Central Docks, Worcester Parkway, North Stowe & Langley Sutton Coldfield representing 14,000 homes
  4. 300 additional planning officers to support local authorities
  5. Increased use of Ministerial powers for direct intervention – Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) will intervene in planning decisions where the benefit of the development to provide potential gain for the regional and national economy warrants it. Local mayors and Office for Investment will bring investment opportunities with important planning considerations to the attention of the DPM and the Treasury. DPM will write to local planning authorities, alongside the consultation on NPPF, making clear what will now be expected of them including universal coverage of local plans, and reviews of green belt boundaries. These will prioritise brownfield and grey belt land for development to meet housing targets where needed. Developments will include affordable homes and homes for social rent
  6. Reform the planning system to deliver infrastructure, accelerating decisions currently sitting with the secretaries of state for Transport and Net Zero
  7. Set new policy intentions for critical infrastructure in the coming months, ahead of updating relevant national policy statements within the year

Ms Reeves was keen to stress that the Government understood there were powerful vested interests involved, but that it was prepared to take short term political pain for the benefit of the country. She said the Government was ready to “make tough decisions to realise the mandate to ”get things done”, concluding that the way to repay voters trust was through “action and delivery”.