Labor will jump into planning to build 1.5 million homes and save the dream of home ownership – Labour

Labor leader Keir Starmer today pledged to build Britain back and save the dream of home ownership for young people when he announced a transformative package of reforms to the planning system to build 1.5 million homes during the next Parliament.

The plan includes:

  • Housing recovery plan; Campaign for planning reform to boost the rapid construction of homes to buy and rent and deliver the biggest boost to affordable housing in a generation, strengthening local voice on ‘how’ housing is built with communities confident that plans will be delivered
  • The next generation of “new cities”; New communities with beautiful homes, green spaces, reliable transportation links and busy main streets
  • Mayors unleashed; A package of devolution to mayors, with stronger powers in planning and controlling investment in housing
  • Urban development planning passport; With fast approval and delivery of high density housing in urban locations
  • First dibs for first time buyers; Supporting young people to get their first chance at homes in new housing developments through a government-backed mortgage guarantee scheme.

The Conservative government has allowed planning permissions to collapse to a record low because they are too weak to stand up to MPs, members and cronies whose interests are best served by limiting the supply of housing to buy and rent.

Planning permissions have fallen to an all-time low, and by the next general election, new home completions are expected to fall to at least 160,000 a year.

Meanwhile, two-thirds of local planning authorities do not have an up-to-date local plan, and this number is expected to fall further as councils halt plans due to chaos.

Without urgent action, we face a generation deprived of home ownership. Since 2010, the number of young homeowners has declined by half a million. Meanwhile, millions live in expensive, poor-quality and unsafe rental housing.

Labor today announced an immediate planning reform drive implemented in its first days and weeks in office to save the housing system from Tory chaos.

Labour’s plans will strengthen the power of local communities and articulate ‘how’ housing is built to best serve local people, while challenging those who question ‘if’ the homes people need should be built at all.

A Labor government will work with local authorities to quickly draw up and approve stalled local plans, recruiting hundreds of extra planners in a “sprint” to approve new plans, the shadow chancellor has announced.

Labor will also strengthen requirements for approving new homes in areas that do not have an up-to-date plan and will step in to approve new homes in poorly performing areas, including using contact powers in extreme cases.

Labor will also deliver the biggest push to build affordable homes in a generation, according to deputy leader Angela Rayner announcing reforms to Section 106 agreements and additional flexibility in the Affordable Homes programme.

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