Boris Johnson passes planning reform "must do the politically difficult things as soon as possible"

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick and Chancellor Sajid Javid have been quietly preparing a major overhaul of the system that gives permission to build to liberate up significant new space. Top of the list of major changes to the law is allowing developers and homeowners to build upwards, adding up to two extra storeys on homes and blocks of flats without necessarily needing approval. Other planning reforms that ministers want to do include building on greenbelt areas where there are already developments, such as around railway stations and a new system of rebates to rapidly speed up the green light to build from councils is also being plotted.

Britain’s cities have one of the lowest average heights of housing in the Western world, and that building upwards will create a huge amount of living space immediately.