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‘Nimby’ councils face new sanctions for failing to meet home-building targets

Housing Secretary Sajid Javid warned councils he would be ‘breathing down your neck day and night’ to ensure targets are met.

“Nimby” councils which fail to build enough homes will be stripped of the right to decide where new houses are placed in their area under plans to be launched by Theresa May on Monday.

Housing Secretary Sajid Javid warned local authorities he would be “breathing down your neck every day and night” to ensure home-building targets are met.

An overhaul of planning laws will see the creation of new rules to give councils targets for how many homes they should build each year, taking into account local house prices, wages and the number of “key workers” like nurses, teachers and police officers in the area.

Higher targets will be set for areas with higher “unaffordability ratios”, Mr Javid told the Sunday Times.

If councils fail to deliver on the target they will be stripped of planning powers with independent inspectors taking over.

We are going to be breathing down your neck day and night to make sure you are actually delivering on those numbers Sajid Javid to councils

The Prime Minister has made housing a key domestic priority as more young people struggle to get on the property ladder.

Mr Javid told the newspaper: “We have a housing crisis in this country.

“We need a housing revolution. The new rules will no longer allow nimby councils that don’t really want to build the homes that their local community needs to fudge the numbers.”

He told councils: “We are going to be breathing down your neck day and night to make sure you are actually delivering on those numbers.”

The Housing Secretary added: “At the moment there is nothing in the system that checks to see they are actually delivering.

“There’s no comeback or sanction and that is going to change.”

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Housing Secretary Sajid Javid warned 'nimby' councils to meet housebuilding targets or face sanctions. (David Mirzoeff/PA)

Mr Javid said homes would not be built on green belt but any area outside “naturally protected land” would be free for construction.

He also revealed plans to build new towns between Oxford and Cambridge.

“Along that corridor there’s an opportunity to build at least four or five garden towns and villages with thousands of homes,” he said.

And he said rules will be relaxed for homeowners who want to add storeys to their houses.

Mr Javid said “the density of London is less than half that of Paris. We don’t want London to end up like Hong Kong.”

But he called for more “mansion blocks, the kind you might see in Kensington and Chelsea”.

“It will be quite surprising how easy we want to make it for people who want to build upwards,” he said.

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