MHCLG had been due to give its assessment of the Conservative MP’s housebuilding report by the end of February


The government is not expected to respond to Sir Oliver Letwin’s review of house build out rates for several weeks, well past its own deadline for commenting on the crucial report. 

Ministers had been due to respond to the review, which the Conservative MP and former Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster presented to ministers last October, by the end of last month.

But that deadline was missed and a response is not now expected until later in the spring.

A spokesperson for the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government said the government would respond “in due course” but gave no indication when that might be.

Letwin’s review was commissioned by Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond in the 2017 Autumn Statement.

At the time the government said it would seek to explain the gap between the number of planning permissions given across the country and the actual development of those green-lit sites and would recommend practical steps to increase the speed of build out, the MHCLG said.

Published in October last year, recommendations in Letwin’s final report included requiring large development sites – those over 1,500 units – to offer a range of tenures, plus offering incentives to diversify such sites by making future government support conditional upon developers accepting a Section 106 agreement which conformed with the new planning policy for those sites.

It also suggested giving local authorities “clear statutory powers to purchase the land designated for such large sites compulsorily at prices which reflect the value of those sites once they have planning permission and a master plan that reflect the new diversity requirements”.