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Property Sector Voices Concern Over Frequent Changes in Housing Minister Role

The UK’s property industry has raised concerns following the latest cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, which saw Rachel Maclean asked to step down from her position as housing minister. Maclean, who was appointed on February 7, 2023, and previously served as justice minister, confirmed her departure on social media, expressing disappointment but gratitude for the opportunity.

The reshuffle, which also included the dismissal of home secretary Suella Braverman, has brought attention to the high turnover of housing ministers. With Maclean’s exit, the industry is now anticipating the 16th housing minister since the 2010 general election.

Michael Gove, the Levelling Up Secretary, showed support for Maclean by sharing a message from business secretary Kemi Badenoch, who praised Maclean’s effectiveness and attentiveness.

Lawrence Turner, director of Boyer, part of Leaders Romans Group, emphasized the urgent need for the new planning minister to address nutrient neutrality, a significant block in housing development. He highlighted the importance of tackling this issue for unlocking an estimated 150,000 homes delayed in the planning system.

Melanie Leech, chief executive of the British Property Federation, criticized the constant change in housing ministers, pointing out the negative impact on investment and long-term commitment in the sector. She called for political stability and continuity to revive housing supply and deliver essential infrastructure.

Nick Sanderson, CEO of Audley Group, expressed concern over the lack of stability and in-depth knowledge about the housing market due to frequent changes in the housing minister role. He hoped for a lasting appointment to focus on substantial progress in the sector.

Simon Gerrard, managing director of Martyn Gerrard Estate Agents, voiced frustration over the frequent changes in the housing ministry, questioning the government’s commitment to solving the housing crisis and providing homes.

Lastly, Paresh Raja, chief executive of Market Financial Solutions, pointed out the challenges in creating and implementing consistent policies due to the high turnover in the housing minister role. He stressed the need for stability in the property sector and suggested that significant change might only come after the next general election.