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Boris’ Real New Deal

In his big speech this morning Boris pitched a relaunch of his premiership after the side blow from Coronavirus. In it, he reiterating many of the manifesto commitments that delivered his 80 seat majority just six months ago – yet with a crucial difference. Project Speed…

“the Chancellor and I have set up ‘Project Speed’ to scythe through red tape and get things done”

Not only were billions in infrastructure spending committed – a new project designed to unleash private investment and get Britain building by slashing regulatory barriers has been set out:

  • A wider range of commercial buildings will be allowed to change to residential use without the need for a planning application
  • Builders will no longer need a normal planning application to demolish and rebuild vacant and redundant residential and commercial buildings if they are rebuilt as homes
  • Property owners will be able to build additional space above their properties via a fast track approval process, subject to neighbour consultation.

The speech doesn’t sound quite so communist with these announcements…

Despite the lobby obsessing over the extra billions spent on top of the existing Coronavirus response, which has already sent debt ballooning, right-of-centre think tanks have welcomed the less talked about elements of the speech. Matt Kilcoyne of the Adam Smith Institute says:
“Usually you trail your best lines, but the Prime Minister’s best bit is yet to come: promised planning reform is the real new deal. Homeowners will be able to build up via a fast track approval process and neighbours’ consent; commercial and residential properties will be able to switch purpose without hindrance; and the developers will get the ability to demolish old stores to get people living on our high streets. This is a plan to build up, rebuild, and repurpose. 
Boosting building by cutting red tape as much as increasing government spending. If this is delivered quickly it could help the Tories win the next election…


* This article was originally published by Guido Fawkes

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