Gove targets brownfield development, urges housebuilding market study

UK Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove has unveiled new measures to form part of the government’s Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill.

Among the amendments, Gove has set out efforts to increase the power given to local authorities to promote brownfield development, which will be prioritised and the government will review how such sites are used.

The government will also consider new financial penalties for companies failing to deliver housing despite having planning approval, in measures aimed at attempting to speed up housing development.

Housing targets will remain, however they are now a “starting point”, with the government to consult on how they can “better take account of local density”.

Gove has also written to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to “consider undertaking a market study on housebuilding”, as the government aims to ensure that the market is “truly competitive”.

In the letter, Gove said: “The last housebuilding market study took place 14 years ago and since then, there have been significant changes in both the market and the challenges facing the country as a whole - such as Net Zero, changes to the structure of the market following the financial crisis and changing demographic trends.”

In this context, he said it felt “timely” that the CMA should be considering a market study.