Michael Gove in major climbdown to Tory rebels over house-building targets

Councils will be able to treat target as ‘advisory’ if it threatens rural and suburban areas

Andrew Woodcock
Political Editor
Monday 05 December 2022 20:18 GMT
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<p>Michael Gove has announced significant concessions on planning reform to a group of Tory backbench rebels</p>

Michael Gove has announced significant concessions on planning reform to a group of Tory backbench rebels

Rishi Sunak has been branded weak by Labour after caving in to rebel backbenchers over house-building targets in a move described as a “triumph for Nimbyism”.

Campaigners fear that housing secretary Michael Gove’s decision to scrap mandatory targets for local councils in rural and suburban areas puts at risk the government’s promise to build 300,000 new homes a year.

Mr Gove’s climbdown comes after behind-the-scenes talks with leaders of more than 100 Tory MPs threatening to vote against his flagship Levelling-Up and Regeneration Bill, leaving the prime minister dependent on Labour votes to get the legislation through parliament.

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