Politics

Labour slammed by businesses for not backing Government’s planning revolution — claiming it will create slums


SMALL businesses and developers have hit out at Labour for not backing the Government’s planning revolution.

The opposition claims the move will create a new wave of slums.

Sir Keir Starmer said the initiative didn't tackle the issue of affordable housing

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Sir Keir Starmer said the initiative didn’t tackle the issue of affordable housingCredit: The Press Association

But experts say the plans will boost a sector which has struggled since the 2008 financial crash.

PM Boris Johnson said more social housing would now be built.

He said: “What we’re doing is simplifying the process so you actually get much more affordable housing.

“This solution gives them (builders) a much simpler infrastructure levy that enables them to go ahead and build a much bigger chunk of affordable housing and help people onto the property ladder.

“So I think it’s going to have the reverse effect and enable us to build more homes for lots of different types of tenure, whether that’s social rent, whether it’s part-buy part-rent, all kinds of things that will help people onto the property ladder.”

The Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick also dismissed allegations that the plans could create a new generation of low quality homes as “complete nonsense.”

The Federation of Small Business say the move will “give a crucial injection of energy into the small business construction sector which has been devastated for years.”

But alongside Labour, some backbench Tory MPs were also concerned about the reforms.

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, treasurer of influential the backbench Conservative 1922 Committee, said: “We do need some reform, but as people who have tried this before have found, if you are not careful it does have knock-on effects.

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“Whilst I’m all in favour of building more houses, they need to be good-quality houses, we have got to be really sure that we are not building slums of tomorrow by building today at low quality.”

He said the “devil is always in the detail” and added that he had concerns about “how much local democratic control there is going to be.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: “This is a developers’ charter frankly taking councils and communities out of it.

“And on affordable housing, which is the critical issue, it says nothing.

“In fact it removes the initiatives that were there for affordable housing.”

New plans to help get Britain’s building industry back to work is unveiled by Housing Minister Robert Jenrick

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