Labour’s Potential Housing Policy Announcements

If Labour wins the upcoming General Election, there are anticipated to be three major housing policy announcements within a fortnight, according to the Sunday Times, which recently endorsed Labour.

1. National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

Labour plans to reinstate local housing targets that were abandoned by Housing Secretary Michael Gove. This draft framework aims to provide clearer guidance and stronger targets for local authorities to meet housing demands.

2. Green Belt Review

Labour proposes a local authority-led review of the Green Belt. This review will allow for selective development on ‘unattractive’ parts of the Green Belt to address housing shortages. Local authorities will establish regular review periods and nominate specific areas of the Green Belt suitable for development.

3. Affordable House Building Programme

Labour will unveil a new programme dedicated to building affordable housing. Details on the scope and scale of this programme are yet to be specified.

Additional Measures

  • Recruitment of Planning Officers: Labour intends to recruit 300 new planning officers to expedite the planning process and ensure efficient handling of housing developments.
  • ‘First Dibs’ Scheme: This scheme will prioritize local first-time buyers when new housing schemes go on sale, giving them an advantage in purchasing new homes.

Leadership Commitment

Party leader Sir Keir Starmer has expressed a strong commitment to rapidly implementing these housing policies. He has indicated a willingness to cut short the traditional six-week Parliamentary summer recess to begin legislating these changes promptly.

Exclusion of Renters Reform Bill

The Sunday Times report did not mention the controversial Renters Reform Bill, which Labour has pledged to reintroduce with enhanced tenant protections compared to the original proposal.

These announcements reflect Labour’s proactive stance on addressing housing shortages and improving the planning and development process, aiming to make significant progress in the housing sector swiftly

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