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Chancellor under fire for hinting at planning reforms

Campaigners fear Government is in a "panic" over house building

George Osborne today faced criticism for his calls for “imaginative” thinking from councils in order to speed up the planning process. A scheme to underwrite £10 billion worth of new homes is also expected to be announced. He sees this as vital in gettin the sluggish construction sector moving again. Since the recession hit, construction has been one of the worst affect industries. Some commentators have demanded greater action to ameliorate this sector as it will also provide much needed jobs.

However the Campaign for the Preservation of Rural England (CPRE) has shown concern that such the Chancellor’s comments are misleading and dangerous. They argue that blaming the planning system for a lack of house building is a myth. Jeff Reid, Liberal Democrat leader of Northumberland County Council stated that the county already has 5 years worth of house building planning approvals. He fears that the Government are in a “panic” and resorting to radical and unnecessary measures that will do harm to people’s standard of living and not provide jobs in the long run.

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