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Michael Gove's Long-term plan for housing

In July the Government committed to ‘a new era of regeneration, inner-city densification and housing delivery across England, with transformational plans to supply beautiful, safe, decent homes in places with high-growth potential in partnership with local communities.’

Michael Gove committed to ‘the regeneration and renaissance’ of Cambridge, central London and central Leeds in the form of funding and reforms to the planning system to speed up new developments.

The important factor for each of these cities is not in the announcement itself, but in how the Secretary of State’s ambitions will be realised: how yet another new strategy for this part of the country might be truly strategic in its approach to investment and infrastructure, and whether this commitment will have a tangible impact on future prospects.

Long-term visions

Inevitably the nature of such a long-term vision means that we cannot hope to see immediate change as a result. It is understandable that an announcement which sets goals in decades, rather than single years, remains silent on the immediate, potentially significant, changes which may develop as the Levelling Up and Regeneration Act is implemented, the progress of the National Planning Policy Framework consultation becomes clear, and, of course, as we approach the next general election.

Yet each of these potential changes is extremely important in the planning and development prospects for the city and will impact its leaders’ faith in national politicians’ commitment.

While long-term visions are not unwelcome, the true test will be the strategy and the implementation of it. To gain the support of local opinion formers, the Government will need to demonstrate its ability in the short and medium term – through the NPPF and on significant issues such as a review of Green Belt, funding for brownfield development, affordable housing provision and immediate improvements to the public transport system.


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