Thursday, 14 July 2016
Changing the guard at De-CLoG
Greg Clark, who has been Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government since May 2015 has moved to be the new Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
His replacement at De-CLoG is Sajid Javid, who was previously Business Secretary. So this is a straight jobs-swap between Clark and Javid.
We shan’t learn until tomorrow or Monday whether Brandon Lewis will stay as Housing and Planning Minister or whether he will also be moving to pastures new.
Theresa May has repeated twice in the past week that building more housing is a priority for her government, and so this will be the major policy objective on which De-CLoG will be expected to deliver. It remains to be seen whether there will be any dramatic new housing initiatives, or whether De-CLoG will simply redouble its previous efforts to promote housing in a variety of ways.
Clearly the residential conversion of offices, which has been facilitated by the permitted development rights included in the GPDO since 2013, will have a part to play in this, and it can be expected that De-CLoG will press on with their previously announced intention of extending Class O to enable the demolition and replacement of office buildings as permitted development (subject to an appropriately beefed-up prior approval process, for which the necessary statutory power was incorporated in the Housing and Planning Act).
Expect some bland announcement soon on all the wonderful things De-CLoG will be doing, but look out for further indications from Downing Street as to what our new PM expects the planning system to deliver.
© MARTIN H GOODALL