Rishi Sunak the government’s housebuilding plans?

British Prime Minister Rishi Unak is facing the first major revolt of his premiership this Week as many Conservative Members of Parliament protest the government’s housebuilding plans.

A Levelling-Up and Regeneration Bill amendment was signed by 47 Tory rank and filed backbenchers. It would prohibit the imposition of mandatory housebuilding targets on local councils. Although the bill will return to the House of Commons for discussion on Wednesday, it is not clear when or if any amendments would be voted upon. The government, which holds a working majority at 69, could be defeated if Labour or other opposition parties support the rebels.

The Conservative Party has long had a problem with planning and housebuilding. This is because the party traditionally dominates in rural, leafy areas. Concerned about voter backlash in their heartlands they are arguing that local communities should have greater control over where houses are built.

Damian Green, one of the potential rebels, stated Tuesday that a central target could not recognize the pressures in different areas of the country. “National averages for house price are useless in the real world, because the same house on the outskirts or Sevenoaks will cost many times as it does on the outskirts or Sunderland. We need to make local decisions about how much development is needed in each location, and this is why local plans are so important.

Although the Tories promised 300,000 homes per year by the mid 2020s, efforts to make that happen by Boris Johnson, former Prime Minister, to create a plan to allow a significant increase in housebuilding failed amid divisions within his party. The party blamed Johnson’s plans for the defeat in the key special election last year. According to data from the Office for National Statistics, construction began on nearly 206,000 new dwellings by 2021-22.

Robert Colville, the 2019 Tory manifesto author, criticized the rebel proposals and said that they would “enshrine nimbyism” as the governing principle in British society. NIMBY stands to Not In My Back Yard.

Former Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers has proposed a number of changes to the bill to alter planning. Other changes include making it more difficult to convert homes into holiday rentals, making it easier for developers to encourage construction on brownfield land over greenfield land, and imposing harsher penalties on those who fail to build after planning permission has been granted.

Max Blain, Sunak’s spokesperson, stated that Sunak remains committed to the government’s goal of building 300,000.00 homes per year.

Blain stated to reporters that he wanted to work constructively in order to build more homes in the right areas. He said that the Secretary of State Michael Gove and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities are both “very focused” on this.

However, the prime minister stated that his plan policy for the year would be “brownfield brownfield, and brownfield” during the Tory’s first leadership contest. This suggests that he is sympathetic to some rebel views.

He stated that he would stop local councils from taking land out the green belt to develop in the past few years.


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