Factbox-What is Rachel Reeves’ plan to ‘get Britain building again’?

LONDON (Reuters) – New finance minister Rachel Reeves announced plans to drive investment into Britain by speeding up the country’s planning system, with the aim of building more houses, unblocking infrastructure projects and developing onshore wind farms.

“We are going to get Britain building again,” she said on Monday in her first speech in the job.

Below are some details of her plans:


Reeves said she would scrap the “absurd ban” on new onshore wind projects in England with immediate effect.

The Labour government elected last week issued a policy statement simultaneously on Monday removing the two tests which have since 2015 led to an effective ban on new onshore wind by refusing permission where any opposition exists.

Reeves also said she would consult on designating onshore wind projects as “significant infrastructure projects”, meaning planning decisions on those projects would be taken nationally, not locally, in future.


Reeves said the government would reform the National Planning Policy Framework, launching a consultation on a growth-focused approach to the planning system before the end of the month.

Deputy prime minister Angela Rayner, who is also responsible for housing policy, will intervene in planning where she believes the regional or national economy will benefit from a development, Reeves said.

She added that planning appeals had already been recovered for two data centres in southern England.

Local mayors and investment officers will also be told to bring any investment opportunities with important planning considerations to the attention of Reeves and Rayner.

Local planning authorities will be told brownfield land and “greybelt” land – sites which already have buildings on or are poor quality parts of the greenbelt area of protected land – will need to be considered for development to meet housing targets.


The transport minister and the energy security and net zero minister will be told to prioritise decisions on infrastructure projects which have been left unresolved.

The new government will also set out “new policy intentions for critical infrastructure”, which will be used as a basis to speed up future decisions.


The government will bring back mandatory housing targets. These had been ditched by the previous Conservative government in late 2022.

Reeves said a new task force would be set up to accelerate stalled housing sites, which could speed up developments at several sites across the country where more than 14,000 homes could be built.

(Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by William James and Catherine Evans)



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