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Planning Decisions Have Been Sitting on the Secretary of State’s Desk for Years

Last night Boris told the end-of-term meeting of the Tory backbench 1922 Committee that they had to ‘build, build, build’ to ensure that the younger generation had the same opportunities to get on the property ladder that previous generations have had. The PM emphasised that nothing could be more Conservative than that and implicitly that nothing makes you more likely to vote Conservative than owning your own home. To this end there are a raft of long overdue planning reforms coming and political NIMBYism is not going to be tolerated. In theory, so far, so good…

In reality things are not so dynamic. The above table was produced on Monday in response to a written question from Alex Cunningham, the Labour MP for Stockton North. He asked the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick to publish the public inquiry planning decisions he has yet to make where a planning inspector’s report has already been submitted to his office. As you can see there are some dating back to 2017, admittedly before the Jenrick got the job…

Guido humbly suggests that if this government wants to “build, build, build” it first needs to “decide, decide, decide”. How can it take 3 years to make a decision when the planning inspector’s report has been submitted and has sat on the Minister’s desk for years? Some of these undecided decisions concern substantial regeneration projects which will bring much needed jobs and growth. Secretary of State, pull your finger out and decide all of them by the time parliament is back…

* This article was originally published by Guido Fawkes


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