Chancellor Rachel Reeves Unveils Ambitious Planning Reforms to Boost UK Construction

July 8, 2024

In her first major speech at the Treasury, Chancellor Rachel Reeves announced a comprehensive set of planning reforms aimed at revitalizing construction across the UK.

Addressing her cabinet colleagues and the media from 1 Horse Guards Road on Whitehall, Reeves, the UK’s first female Chancellor, proclaimed, “After 14 years, Britain is open for business. In an uncertain world, Britain is a place to do business.”

Reeves highlighted that her planning reform efforts, developed with Deputy Prime Minister Angela Rayner, are already underway to achieve Labour’s goal of constructing 1.5 million homes over the next five years.

“I am taking immediate action to drive this Labour government’s mission to stimulate economic growth,” Reeves asserted.

The Chancellor detailed several significant reforms to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) set to be enacted by the end of the month. These changes include reinstating mandatory local housing targets, ending the ban on onshore wind farms in England, and giving priority to energy projects in the planning process.

Reeves also announced the formation of a task force to expedite stalled housing projects, beginning with around 14,000 homes. Additionally, she revealed plans to recruit 300 new planning officers for local authorities, as outlined in Labour’s manifesto.

Furthermore, Labour will focus on the “benefit of development” when Deputy Prime Minister Rayner steps in on planning decisions.