Communities Secretary Michael Gove has signalled the Government will make a fresh bid to scrap environmental rules to boost housebuilding.
The House of Lords last month defeated an attempt by ministers to scrap EU-era rules that force developers to mitigate the impact new homes have on river health.
Earlier in the month it was reported that activity in the UK’s construction sector decreased at the fastest rate since May 2020 as housebuilding rapidly declined.
Last week during Labour’s party conference, Labour leader Keir Starmer called himself a ‘Yimby’, or Yes in My Back Yard, as he announced a new housebuilding policy, to create new towns and cities, if he was to become the prime minister.
Conservative MP Andrew Lewer (Northampton South) said: “When the department tried to change the nutrient neutrality rules the Labour Party fell at the first hurdle in showing that they’ve changed with their claims to be the party of housebuilding. They blocked it, so will ministers commit to pushing through these essential changes afresh?”
Gove replied “absolutely” before criticising Labour for making a “crude, nimbyist appeal” to voters in Mid Bedfordshire ahead of a by-election just a week after Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said he was “in favour of the builders not the blockers”.
Gove added: “But who could be surprised when… we put forward legislation for 100,000 new homes, Labour blocked it. It is unbelievable that that crew of gangsters there are peddling the same nonsense week in, week out.”
Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle advised Gove to “moderate” his language, with the minister later saying he withdrew “gangster” and he should have said “huckster” instead.