‘Exactly right’ says Andrew Griffith MP on Government plan to build more in cities

Andrew Griffith, Member of Parliament for Arundel & South Downs, has welcomed the news that the Government has called on big city councils to prioritise brownfield development.
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As part of its long-term plan for housing, the government has announced today (13 February 2024) that every council in England will be told that they will need to prioritise brownfield developments and instructed to be less bureaucratic and more flexible in applying policies that halt housebuilding on brownfield land.

The bar for refusing brownfield plans will also be made much higher for those big city councils who are failing to hit their locally agreed housebuilding targets. Planning authorities in England’s 20 largest cities and towns will be made to follow a ‘brownfield presumption’, if housebuilding drops below expected levels.

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Mr Griffith has been one of the most vocal MPs in Parliament against development on greenfield land, and even pushed for a drive of city-centre development in his Maiden Speech and at a debate called by the local MP in the House of Commons.

Arundel &; South Downs MP, Andrew GriffithArundel &; South Downs MP, Andrew Griffith
Arundel &; South Downs MP, Andrew Griffith

“This plan to focus development in urban areas is exactly right. Our cities have the infrastructure and the demand to accommodate new housing, and are far better spots to build upwards than in communities across rural West Sussex.

Since my first speech in Parliament, and consistently during my time as an MP, I have called for a focus on developing our cities upwards and not outwards – to make the most of the abundance of brownfield land we see in places like Brighton and London.

Young people don’t want to be forced into the outskirts of urban areas or away into countryside. They want to be in the heart of the action. This plan will help deliver homes for young people in the right places, whilst protecting our green fields here in West Sussex.”

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Also commenting on the new plan, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “We pledged to build the right homes in the right places – protecting our precious countryside and building more in urban areas where demand is highest. Today’s package is us delivering on that.

We are sticking to our plan and are on track to meet our commitment to deliver one million homes over the course of this Parliament, and the changes announced today will deliver the right mix of homes across England.”