Responding to the changes to planning being announced by the Government, Cllr Mark Crane, District Councils’ Network lead member for stronger economies, said:

“Getting the country building desperately-needed homes again will be a vital part of the national recovery from coronavirus, and district councils stand shovel-ready to deliver.

“The principle of supporting small and medium sized builders, building on brownfield land, and early engagement of the public are all potentially positive. However so much depends on the detail for how all the measures will work in practice, and we look forward to working with government on it.

“Local communities have to be at the heart of plans for their places. We cannot compromise on the quality of new homes and places and side-line public consultation. We must focus on building the homes and places that will stand the test of time.

“District councils and their local communities continue to grant nine in 10 planning permissions, while tens of thousands of homes with planning permission remain unbuilt – the housing delivery system is broken, not the planning system.

“To tackle the housing crisis, councils need to be given the funding to invest in infrastructure and the powers to build homes that are green, high quality, and affordable.”