CLA responds as Michael Gove outlines planning and housebuilding changes

'More ambition needed to solve rural housing crisis', warns CLA President Victoria Vyvyan
In a speech in London, Michael Gove also said the government would publish league tables revealing the performance of council planning authorities in approving developments.

The CLA has called on the Government to show more ambition to solve the rural housing crisis, after Michael Gove announced an easing of housebuilding targets for councils.

The Levelling Up Secretary's speech this week coincided with the publication of the long-awaited National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), which sets out planning and land-use policies for England.

The changes confirmed concessions Gove made last year after pressure from backbench Tory MPs that the calculations of each area’s minimum housing needs would be advisory.

The revised NPPF also says councils will not have to review greenbelt boundaries or allow building that is “significantly out of character” with an existing area in order to meet housing needs.

Country Land and Business Association President Victoria Vyvyan said:

“Unless some villages can build a small number of homes, young people will be driven out of the countryside and more of our schools, businesses and community spaces risk closing for good.

“Tackling existing council delays is important. But without more ambitious targets, the rural housing crisis will continue to hold back the countryside and the life chances of those who call it home. As ever the needs of the rural communities, especially the younger generation, have been ignored.”