Gove replaces Jenrick as housing secretary

Michael Gove (Dreamstime/Kubajunek)

Michael Gove has replaced Robert Jenrick as secretary of state for housing, communities and local government, following a cabinet reshuffle.

Welcoming the news of the appointment of Gove, who is MP for Surrey Heath, the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) said it looked forward to working with the new secretary of state to ensure the construction industry’s priorities are well understood and supported.

Eddie Tuttle, director of policy, external affairs and research at CIOB, said: “The construction sector will be one of the most vital sectors to the UK government’s housing plans if it is to successfully build back better and level up.

“We would like to see quality as a priority when it comes to the development of all homes – new and retrofitted – alongside progress on the New Homes Ombudsman which the government announced plans for nearly three years ago in October 2018. It is also vital that the industry receives clarity on the Planning Bill, and its relationship with the Fire Safety Act and Building Safety Bill; particularly in relation to the government’s position on permitted development rights and ensuring they have strict quality controls should they press ahead as a key mechanism for housing delivery.

“We look forward to working with the new secretary of state to make progress on the big issues facing our industry. I am confident, though, that CIOB and our sister professional bodies, with which we work closely to develop consistent and robust positions to support the construction community, can work with the secretary to deliver on the priorities for the construction industry.”

Following Jenrick’s ousting as housing secretary, a spokesperson for Number 10 said: “Robert Jenrick has led crucial work over the last two years, most importantly driving reforms to build more houses so home ownership becomes a reality for many more people.”

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  1. Whatever development takes place to reform the planning system must at last put social and economic justice issues at the heart of planning. The Building Beautiful document mustn’t get forgotten. The inequitable profits reaped by windfall landowners must be given back to the community that has funded the site’s improved value all along through taxation in various guises paying for the whole surrounding infrastructure of roads, services, schools and amenities without which the site would have no increased value. .

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