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New housing minister Ruth Kelly declares war on nimbyism

The new housing and communities minister Ruth Kelly has launched an extraordinary attack on people she says are too 'protective of their own space'.

Kelly said she would be prepared to rewrite planning regulations if locals objected to plans to build thousands of new homes across the South East.

Speaking to Radio 4's Todayprogramme, John Prescott's successor said building more social and low-cost housing would be one of her top priorities.

'We need to put a greater emphasis on increasing housing supply in future,' she said. 'That may mean, for example, changing the planning regulations to make sure that more housing comes forward.

'It also means changing the social culture in this country, where too often the case has been that people have been protective of their own space and not wanted to see more affordable housing being built. That is something we really have to root out.

'There is a need for more affordable homes to be built and that is going to be a personal priority for me,' she added.

by Ed Dorrell

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