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Queen's Speech puts housing at top of Brown's agenda

Prime minister Gordon Brown has placed housing, energy and planning at the centre of his ‘long-term plans’ for the new parliament

It was a speech with few surprises – most of what was included in the Queen’s Speech was set out in Brown’s draft Queens’ Speech in July when he took over from Tony Blair.

Brown outlined his plans to merge the Housing Corporation with English Partnerships, to create a body called the Homes and Communities Agency, while pushing for three million homes to be built by 2020.

The prime minister set out the Planning Reform Bill, which calls for a separate planning system for major infrastructure projects, while simplifying the system for minor home improvements. In many cases formal planning permission will no longer be required.

Brown’s Climate Change Bill will bind government to its target of 60 per cent CO2 reductions by 2020 compared to 1990 levels.

The Energy Bill will introduce greater incentives for renewable energy generation, while a Crossrail Bill was also announced, giving the necessary powers to build the cross-London rail link.

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