Jenrick Begins to Clear Housing Ministry’s Planning Backlog

Back in July Guido highlighted twelve large projects that had been sitting on the Housing Secretary’s desk for years,  calling on Jenrick to pull his finger out over the Summer Recess and decide all of them by the time parliament is back. The Department for Housing clearly listened to Guido’s call to end the delay, with half those decisions now having been made – including one dating back to 2017. Those remaining are:

  1. Highthorn (Northumberland) (29/11/17)
  2. Whitehouse Farm Belper (Amber Valley) (case 1) (12/9/18)
  3. Whitehouse Farm Belper (Amber Valley) (case 2) (12/9/18)
  4. Crich Lane, Belper (Amber Valley) (4/4/19)
  5. Broad Lane Essington & Holyhead Rd Wergs (South Staffs) (13/05/19)
  6. Land north of Barleycastle Lane, Appleton Thorn (Warrington) (11/12/19) (Addendum report received 09/09/20)
  7. Land Adjacent Dinnington Road, Woodsetts (Rotherham) (6/1/20)
  8. Ellesmere Port Wellsite, Portside One (Cheshire West and Chester) (6/1/20)
  9. South-west Sittingbourne/Wises Lane (Swale) 13/2/20
  10. Hulton Park (Bolton) (4/5/20)
  11. Anglia Square (Norwich) 8/6/20
  12. Citroen site, Brentford (GLA) (11/6/20)

A Housing Department source tells Guido “some cases on this list are subject to planning inquiries, which do take time” yet Guido suspects some of those remaining could be dealt with sooner. A proposal for 1,200 new homes in Anglia Square in Norwich has been ducked again, with the Government missing its deadline to issue a decision last week. This is despite the local planning committee approving the development back in 2018. Could this be anything to do the fact that Norwich North is a marginal constituency held by Tory minister Chloe Smith?

The department does seem to have got into gear now and is speeding up building in a number of areas: from an increase in permitted development rights, office to residential, the right to build upwards, the right to demolish and rebuild, and the potentially transformative White Paper. Guido expects the final six planning decisions to be made soon however and will continue holding Jenrick to account…

mdi-tag-outline Housing
mdi-account-multiple-outline Robert Jenrick
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