Andrew – The Whip And The Belt

A man standing by a hedge smiling

The construction industry is waiting to see if Stuart Andrew – Deputy Conservative Whip and the eleventh new Housing Minister in 12 years - will encourage or oppose building on the green belt.

SMEs are also particularly interested to see if they will be considered as a vital tool for building more homes.

Deputy chief whip Andrew, who grew up on a north Wales council estate, assumed the role in the Prime Minister's mini-reshuffle as part of the clear out of the whip's office.

Housing delivery targets released in January showed nearly a third of local councils had failed to build enough homes with many of these authorities in areas with large swathes of green belt.

However, Andrew who is MP for Pudsey, Horsforth and Aireborough in East Yorkshire has campaigned to save the greenbelt opposing plans for major housing developments and roads in his area.

The National Federation of Builders chief executive Richard Beresford said: "He has a tough job on his hands, as we desperately need an engaged housing minister who understands the planning system`s impact on levelling up, SME builders and the broader housing crisis."

Andrew and levelling up and housing secretary, Michael Gove, face the challenge of reworking controversial plans to shake-up the planning system to enable 300,000 new homes to be built a year.

Gove has said he would ditch proposals for a zonal system denying residents the right to object to new buildings in areas marked for development.


Crucial time

The Federation of Master Builders chief executive Brian Berry said Mr Andrew's appointment came at a crucial time for the industry. "I look forward to working constructively with the new minister to deliver a much-needed boost for small, local housebuilders,” said Berry. "This will not only help plug the gap in housing stock but will also play a vital role in levelling up the country, as who better to enable this than small, community-centric builders."


Royal Institute of British Architects

The Royal Institute of British Architects said it was important Andrew got to grips quickly with the housing crisis. "With the government highlighting the importance of improved housing in its levelling-up agenda, it must now work to secure consistent and effective leadership in this area," said President Simon Allford.


Brokers Hank Zarihs Associates

Brokers Hank Zarihs Associates (The Installer and The Fabricator`s advisers) said commercial development finance lenders were hoping the new minister would help make planning more efficient and easier for SME developers.

Picture: Stuart Andrew is the eleventh new housing minister.

Article written by Cathryn Ellis
10th February 2022


Related Articles