Back to news

Reeves correct to cite poor regulation as a growth barrier

The Rt. Hon. Rachel Reeves MP gave her first speech as Chancellor, emphasising stability, investment and reform as her three pillars essential for ensuring growth is the Labour government’s national mission. She highlighted that ‘nowhere is decisive reform needed more than in planning’, the Chancellor announced initiatives to speed up the grid, remove barriers to onshore wind, and review the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

Richard Beresford, Chief Executive of the National Federation of Builders, said:

 “The NFB has been at the forefront of lobbying for planning reform, so it is exciting to have a government that understands why reforming it will deliver and sustain employment, housing, transport, regional and national strategy, and investor confidence. Tax cuts enable growth because they free up funding, but if money cannot be invested due to anti-growth agendas, it gets wasted on bureaucracy, held back or goes abroad. It is fantastic to have a Chancellor who understands this reality.

Labour have had a consistent message on planning reform throughout their campaign and it bodes well for the country that they appear to be sticking to their promises – something sorely missing over these last five years. The NFB Manifesto, ‘Supporting Construction to Power Growth,’ contains many planning reform recommendations and we look forward to having a chance to explain them to the new government.”

The announced NPPF review is a necessary first step in implementing Labour’s promise to reintroduce housing targets and ensure the ambition of the ‘grey belt’ is realised. The new Government has already announced the removal of footnotes in the NPPF that hinder onshore wind development.

Rico Wojtulewicz, Head of Policy and Market Insight, said:

“Labour is correct to review the NPPF because the most recent review removed housing ambition, took powers away from councils to allocate land, increased the discretionary planning process by introducing vague language, and where sensible approaches were introduced, such as National Development Management Policies, powers were taken away to enable them in practice.

Without planning reform, growth Is either temporary or in sectors without substantial knock-on investment, such as the services sector. This needs to change and we should look at Birmingham as an example of how to do it well.

The second city’s automotive industry didn’t just need premises to build cars but also facilities to manufacture components. This, alongside tens of thousands of industry-specific jobs, was enabled across the entire Midlands region and supported by a nationally accessible transport network, once again made possible by decisive, strategic planning. In turn, this fuelled investment in ancillary businesses, such as aftermarket care and nationally spread garages.

With new technologies coming thick and fast and green industries growing exponentially, the UK cannot afford to delay enablement. Labour’s immediate decision to unlock onshore wind projects should give the nation hope that ‘national renewal’ and ‘growth’ are not just slogans.”

Media Enquiries