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Ex-PM and Home Secretary raise housing issues in Parliament

Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson and ex-Home Secretary Priti Patel had around three years in Government to sort out housing but seem to have waited until they hit the backbenches to raise the issue of the lack of housebuilding.

Johnson and Patel both pressed Housing Minister Lucy Frazer in the House of Commons this week on the current government's planning and housebuilding policy.

Speaking during a Levelling Up, Housing and Communities question session, Johnson - who was removed as Prime Minister late last year - asked if she agrees “that the best way to stop building housing in unsuitable areas is to build more on brownfield sites across the country?”


He went on to criticise London Mayor Sadiq Khan, claiming he remains “obsessed with unrealistic targets for social housing in every development, stopping good projects from going ahead and depriving the people of this city and this country of houses for sale and for market rent, and of social housing as well?”

Frazer responded that the Government agrees “that it is important that we build first on brownfield land.”

She added: “That is why we have a brownfield-first policy that we are absolutely committed to, and a brownfield fund to encourage investment in those areas. It is, of course, important that we have social housing, affordable housing and homes that first-time buyers can buy. 

“But it is important that we have mixed developments, and that those houses are in the right places and in the right quantities.”

Patel, who was Home Secretary between 2019 and 2022, also raised the issue of speculative development, some of which has gone through on appeals from builders in particular or have been approved by councils concerned about their five-year land supply. 

She asked: “What assurances can she and the Government give my constituents, who are fighting against many speculative developers and developments, that the Government’s planning policies are on the side of those communities?”

Frazer said: “The current National Planning Policy Framework already provides important additional protection from speculative development for areas with a neighbourhood plan, but we want to go even further. 

“We have just published proposals to increase protections for areas, including those with neighbourhood plans. Those proposals are now out for consultation and I know the Secretary of State will consider all views carefully before making a final decision.”

Frazer was also asked about support for first-time buyers and if the Help to Buy scheme would be extended beyond March.

She said:  “We do not currently have plans to do so, but we will keep that under review. 

“Since 2010, more than 819,000 households have been helped to purchase a home through Government-backed schemes. That includes how we cut Stamp Duty land tax, and extended the mortgage guarantee for a further year to maintain the availability of mortgages to buyers with only a 5% deposit.”

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    10 million immigrants in 15 years is the problem. Too late to solve that one.


    Labour started it under Blair who allowed anyone to come in who wanted to but if you say that you are a racist of course

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    Boris Johnson keeps babbling on about his levelling up agenda but i have totally lost faith in the Government to sort anything. Boy Sunak doubled the national debt during covid and now the unions smell the money. The UK Gov't needs a shock and it's likely to get one at the next election. But Labour is not the answer. The UK needs a shock.


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