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[Politics] Housing targets to be diluted after revolt from Tory MPs

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The government is set to water down housing targets for local councils in the face of a growing rebellion from Conservative MPs.

Nearly 60 rebels had backed a plan to ban mandatory targets in England, delaying votes on the Levelling Up Bill.

Housing Secretary Michael Gove has now offered councils more flexibility over meeting the government targets.

Rebels had argued the targets are excessive and undermine local councils.

Former minister and leading rebel Theresa Villiers said the government's plans were a "compromise" that would "rebalance" planning rules.

Other Conservative MPs had expressed concern about the rebels' plans, warning they would lead to fewer homes being built.

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In a summary of the deal with the government shared with journalists, rebels said Mr Gove had agreed to give councils more leeway to depart from government housing need targets.

These targets, calculated using a government formula, have to be incorporated into councils' 15-year housebuilding plans. Councils that fail to do so can have their power to block new developments curbed.

The rebels said Mr Gove would allow councils to depart from the targets if they would result in building at a density that would change the character of an area.

According to the rebels, Mr Gove has also pledged to change the rules under which local councils have to maintain a rolling five-year stock of land for future development.

Rebels had also tabled an amendment to the Levelling Up Bill to scrap the requirement, which means councils need to show they have allocated enough land over five years to deliver demand for houses.

Under Mr Gove's proposal, councils won't have to maintain a supply if their housebuilding plans are up to date.

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-63863022


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