Chancellor announces mandatory housing targets ‘to get Britain building again’ – and lifts onshore wind ban

UK

Chancellor Rachel Reeves has announced mandatory housing targets and an end to the onshore wind ban to get “Britain building again”.

The UK’s first ever female chancellor said Labour will create a new taskforce “to accelerate stalled housing sites in our country”.

She promised her government would build 1.5 million homes over the next five years, as pledged in Labour’s election manifesto.

“We’re not in the business of reneging on our manifesto commitments,” she said in her first speech as chancellor after Labour won the election last Thursday.

“We’ve received that strong mandate. We’re going to deliver on that mandate.”

Labour’s manifesto had pledged to “immediately” update the National Policy Planning Framework to undo changes made by the Conservatives, including restoring mandatory housing targets.

Her party had promised during the election campaign a 10-year infrastructure strategy to guide investment plans and give the private sector certainty about the project pipeline and the creation of a National Infrastructure and Service Transformation Authority to oversee schemes.

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Labour had also pledged to update planning policy to make it easier to build 1.5 million homes, as well as laboratories, gigafactories and digital infrastructure.

The chancellor had warned before the election that the next government would inherit “the worst set of circumstances since the Second World War”, and said today: “What I have seen over the past 72 hours has only confirmed that.”

Asked by Sky’s Ed Conway when people can expect economic growth to start, Ms Reeves said: “We are now getting on with delivering [growth]. These are our first steps to bring back economic growth. I mean business and we are getting on with that work to unlock that growth.”

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