Gordon Brown is preparing to sweep aside planning controls in villages and market towns to allow the biggest rural housebuilding programme for a generation.

Local authorities are to be controversially ordered to adopt a relaxed approach to the building of new homes in areas where planning permission has traditionally been refused.

The government has concluded that protecting the environment should no longer be the overriding consideration when decisions are made about whether to allow development in areas where locals are struggling to afford homes.

Sunday Times