UK aims to speed up housebuilding with some ‘automatic’ approval

FILE PHOTO: Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick arrives on Downing Street, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, June 9, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain wants to speed up the planning system to approve construction projects such as new homes more quickly, with some developments to be allowed automatically, housing minister Robert Jenrick wrote in The Sunday Telegraph newspaper.

Britain has for decades failed to build enough housing to keep up with rising demand, driving house prices sharply higher. Among factors blamed for this situation are the time it takes to get planning permission and the slow pace of consultations.

“We are introducing a simpler, faster, people-focused system to deliver the homes and places we need,” Jenrick said.

“Land designated for growth will empower development – new homes, hospitals, schools, shops and offices will be allowed automatically. People can get going.”

He said a “permission in principle” approach would be balanced with appropriate checks in some areas.

Reporting by Costas Pitas; Editing by Gareth Jones

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