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'Soviet' home-build targets dropped

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Financial incentives for councils that support house-building will be introduced as a matter of priority, communities secretary Eric Pickles has promised

Pickles made the announcement as he officially scrapped centrally imposed, ‘Soviet’ targets for new homes after laying an order in Parliament today (07.07.10) revoking regional spatial strategies which, he said, had failed to increase house-building.

The move makes good the Conservatives’ pre-election pledge to ditch government housing targets.

‘Communities will no longer have to endure the previous government’s failed Soviet tractor style top-down planning targets - they were a terrible, expensive, time-consuming way to impose house building and worst of all threatened the destruction of the Green Belt,’ he said.

Instead the Pickles said that the Government would introduce ‘powerful new incentives’ for communities to encourage support for the construction of new homes.

Local people, he continued, would be given ‘direct rewards from the proceeds of growth to improve their local area’.

In a statement to MPs, he said: ‘Because we are committed to housing growth, introducing these incentives will be a priority and we aim to do so early in the spending review period.’

Chancellor George Osborne will be announcing his spending review in October, after which there will be a consultation about the details of the scheme.

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