16 September 2021

A good appointment and strategy for housing and communities

The National Federation of Builders (NFB) and House Builders association (HBA) would like to thank Robert Jenrick for his strong engagement with house builders and excellent understanding of the issue SMEs face. We would also like to welcome Michael Gove to his new role as Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

Rico Wojtulewicz, head of housing at the HBA, said: “Having worked with Mr Gove while at DEFRA, we look forward to his pragmatic approach to policy in practice. He has entered a bit of a cauldron, but the Government’s excellent planning reforms were at the stage of requiring a layer of strategy to incorporate competing aims, such as agriculture, placemaking and archaeology so we are looking forward to working with him on that.”

Many false narratives around ‘Planning for the Future’ have been amplified by the opposition and the media has carried them far and wide, therefore Mr Gove will need to consider how they can be addressed.

Other serious concerns such as homelessness, social housing and placemaking for lower emissions can all be enabled within the Government’s planning reforms and need to be part of the debate.

Separately, building safety remains a priority.

Wojtulewicz continued; “Planning reforms aim to help SMEs the most and as they train 7 in 10 construction apprentices, make up ninety percent of the training capacity, as well as being the predominant rural employer, they are integral to any levelling up agenda. Planning and construction are also imperative in establishing opportunities, either for employment, transport, housing, amenities or even reconnecting with nature. Putting Mr Gove in charge of levelling up and MHCLG was a shrewd move by the Prime Minister.”