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Planning for the Future

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 12th March 2020.

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Photo of Robert Jenrick Robert Jenrick The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government 11:30 am, 12th March 2020

I will pay close attention to all those points. Everything the hon. Member listed is within the scope of the planning White Paper, and I would welcome his views and those of the members of his Committee. In reviewing local housing need, we will take account of the need to level up and rebalance the economy, both geographically, from the south to the north, and between areas—for example, by trying to ensure that cities that have depopulated in our lifetime can have more homes built in them to get people and families back into and living in some of our great cities where sadly fewer people are living now than 20 or 30 years ago. I welcome the work he did on the building safety fund, and I hope this will now make a significant difference in helping leaseholders, particularly in private buildings, move forward. We have also opened it up to the social sector, because some housing associations, particularly small ones, and some smaller councils do not have the finances readily available or the ability to borrow to do the work now required. This fund will be open to them to do that, so money should not be a barrier to their moving forward with the remediation works required.