Rishi Sunak and Michael Gove have pledged to relax planning rules in England to increase housebuilding but, crucially, they have also promised they will not “concrete over the countryside”.

In a speech in central London, levelling up secretary Gove insisted the government would “unequivocally, unapologetically and intensively” concentrate its efforts “in the hearts of our cities”.

The proposals come two months after Labour leader Keir Starmer vowed to take on NIMBYs by giving English councils more powers to build on green belt land while blaming the Conservative party for killing the dream of home owning for an entire generation.