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East Midlands Chamber News

Chamber Welcomes Housebuilding Reforms

Housing developers could get automatic permission to build on brownfield sites across the UK, according to plans announced today.

The Government would also get powers to seize disused land, while major housing projects could be fast-tracked as part of a broader push to boost Britain's productivity.

The plans were outlined this morning by Business Secretary Sajid Javid MP, as he unveiled the Chancellor’s long-term Productivity Pan, called Fixing the Foundations: Creating a More Prosperous Nation.

Chris Hobson, Director of Policy at East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire), said: “In order to boost productivity, it’s crucial that the workforce has access to affordable housing within reasonable distance of their place of work.

“While all political parties have committed to building significant numbers of new homes, the fact remains that the track record of recent Governments in this area is poor.

“Businesses understand that there does need to be a system in place which safeguards against poor quality construction and design and prevents developers from building anything, anywhere, but the current system is mired in red tape and unnecessary costs, which discourages many firms from trying to expand.

“What business is looking for is a simplified system which adopts a common-sense approach to planning projects or developments, along with planning staff who are focused on helping businesses to achieve their aims and objectives, to empower businesses to invest in premises, infrastructure, jobs and growth.

“On the face of it, the planning reforms unveiled by the Chancellor today are welcome. As a country, we’re not building enough homes and planning delays and barriers in the system are frequently raised by members as a key issue. If this gets things moving then it is to be welcomed.”