Rishi Sunak to use his 60-seat majority in Parliament to scrap green planning rules in a bid to build 100,000 new homes despite being blocked by the House of Lords
- Downing Street is drawing up new legislation which would allow PM to act
Rishi Sunak is set to use his party’s 60-seat majority in the Commons to force through the scrapping of green planning rules in order to build an extra 100,000 new homes.
The Prime Minister is ‘absolutely determined’ to scrap the ‘nutrient neutrality’ regulations, which officials say are blocking crucial construction during a housing supply crisis, according to government sources.
Downing Street is now drawing up new legislation which would allow Mr Sunak to drive through the move using his party’s substantial Commons majority, The Sunday Telegraph reported.
Earlier this month the House of Lords crushed an attempt to introduce the changes via an amendment to the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill.
But a separate bill announced in the King’s Speech would allow Tory MPs in the Commons to exercise the chamber’s ‘primacy’ over the Lords.
Rishi Sunak (pictured) is set to use his party’s 60-seat majority in the Commons to force through the scrapping of green planning rules in order to build an extra 100,000 new homes
The Prime Minister is ‘absolutely determined’ to scrap the ‘nutrient neutrality’ regulations, which officials say are blocking crucial construction during a housing supply crisis
One source told the paper: ‘Ultimately, when it comes to ping pong and the Commons asserts clearly it wants something, the Lords respects that.
‘The Prime Minister is really keen to unlock 100,000 homes and has made that very clear. We are considering a full suite of options, but given the constraints of parliamentary time nothing is guaranteed.’
Another source added: ‘The Prime Minister is absolutely determined to get this through.’
After the Lords defeat, Green Party peer Jenny Jones, who helped lead the rebellion against the move, said: ‘If the government are so desperate to add to the unacceptable levels of pollution in the water, they can bring the measures back in a separate bill, as part of the King’s Speech.
‘They can then consult properly and justify it to a public who are already fed up with polluted local rivers and beaches.
‘And if I was Prime Minister, I wouldn’t relish having a conversation with King Charles about the horrendous state of the country’s waterways.’
Last month Housing Secretary Michael Gove said: ‘The way EU rules have been applied has held us back. These changes will provide a multi-billion pound boost for the UK economy and see us build more than 100,000 new homes.’
However, the proposal, which would mean developers are no longer required to offset any extra nutrient pollution they cause in sensitive areas under the habitats directive, was criticised by Natural England, the government’s environment watchdog.
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