In a speech announcing how Boris Johnson and his government plan to help the UK recover from the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic, the prime minister has put the construction industry front and centre.
He revealed that the government will bring forward £5 billion of spending plans to get the economy moving again, with a raft of construction and infrastructure schemes announced.
As Building reported, they include £1.5 billion for hospital maintenance work, £100 million to be spent across 29 road projects, and £900 million to be set aside for local, shovel-ready schemes.
Boris Johnson has also pledged to carry out the biggest overhaul of the UK’s planning rules since the second world war to enable the UK to build “faster, greener and better”, Sky News reported.
Among the most significant changes on planning regulations will be that commercial buildings can be changed to residential use without requiring a planning application and a fast-track approval process to allow property owners to build additional space above their properties, subject to neighbour consultation.
The government will also allow builders to demolish and rebuild vacant or redundant buildings, both residential and commercial, without a normal planning application, provided they are rebuilt as homes, the news provider added.
One of the main aims of this proposal is to enable land and commercial properties in town and city centres to be turned into housing more easily.
The new planning rules are set to come into force in the UK in September of this year, Sky noted.
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