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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

My right hon. Friend is heavily involved in the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission, and I commend its superb report to anyone interested in these issues. One point it raises, which we will now be taking forward, is the need to mitigate against the urban sprawl and the damage to the countryside we have seen over the past 50 or 60 years and more.

The answer to that is gentle density in urban areas, building upwards where appropriate—perhaps where there are existing clusters of high-rise buildings—and, building gently where building upwards is not appropriate. There are plenty of examples in the report of where that can be done in an attractive way that local communities could support. We need to ensure more homes are built in our town centres and around our high streets. The high streets and town centres fund that we have created through the £3.6 billion towns fund provides funding to many parts of the country to do exactly that.