Labour to relax planning restrictions to hit 1.5 million new home target


The Headline:

House building starts to March this year down -22% to 134,780. Home completed down -12% meaning a total of just 151,000 homes were built…the target is 300,000 per year.

Labours Solution:

The chancellor will deliver her first speech in the Treasury today, saying there is “no time to waste” as Labour seeks to improve living standards and boost growth.

Rachel Reeves will pledge to take the “difficult decisions” to boost growth as she announces plans to build millions of homes and overcome “nimby” opposition.

Today’s Announcement:

Labour will announce the restoration of mandatory local house building targets while relaxing planning restrictions on building on “ugly” parts of the green belt, which Sir Keir Starmer has branded the “grey belt.”

Chancellors Rationale:

“Where governments have been unwilling to take the tough decisions to deliver growth — or have waited too long to act — I will deliver. It is now a national mission. There is no time to waste.

“I want to outline the first steps this new government has taken to fix the foundations of our economy, so we can rebuild Britain and make every part of our country better off.”

The Problem:

Labour’s move will reverse the changes to England’s planning laws made by Michael Gove, the former levelling-up secretary, last year in response to a backlash from Tory MPs concerned about development in their constituencies.

These allowed councils to ignore targets for new homes needed to meet local demand if the development would either alter the character of an area or impinge on the green belt.

In the wake of the changes local authorities began cancelling previously authorised housing developments and publishing new local plans that fell short of meeting their housing needs.

Planning experts warned that the changes could result in a reduction of 70,000 homes being built each year.

The Target:

Starmer and Reeves, through a planning overhaul (to be overseen by deputy PM Angela Rayner) have pledged to have 1.5 million homes built over the course of this 5-year parliament period, (300,000 per year).