Can the 16th housing minister in 13 years make a difference before the election?

lee rowley portrait

The past nine housing ministers have come and gone in the time it takes to get a large project to site, says Joey Gardiner. So what are the chances that the latest incumbent in the role can do what is required to pick the industry up off the floor?

It takes an average of five years, according to consultant Lichfields, from submitting and validating a planning application on a large site to completion of the first homes. So, with the appointment this week of Lee Rowley as the Conservative government’s 16th housing minister since 2010, it turns out that you could have seen out the last nine ministers to hold the office in the average time required to get a big project from the drawing board to delivery.

Given this shockingly rapid turnover at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), it is perhaps not surprising that Rachel Maclean’s sacking this week in prime minister Rishi Sunak’s reshuffle, a day before she was due to introduce the Renter’s Reform Bill to committee, has been greeted largely with irritation rather than enthusiasm.

Already registered? Login here

To continue enjoying, sign up for free guest access

Existing subscriber? LOGIN


Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.

  • Limited access to
  • Breaking industry news as it happens
  • Breaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters

Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY

Gated access promo

Subscribe now for unlimited access


Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:

  • Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leaders
  • Our league tables, cost models and economics data
  • Our online archive of over 10,000 articles
  • Building magazine digital editions
  • Building magazine print editions
  • Printed/digital supplements

Subscribe now for unlimited access.

View our subscription options and join our community