Sir Keir Starmer against a 'Labour red' background

Keir Starmer has promised to start work on enabling the building of more homes within his first 100 days as Prime Minister. Credit: House of Commons CC BY 3.0 bit.ly/3g0ER6a

Commentary

Labour wins. What’s next?

With more than 400 seats in Parliament, Keir Starmer’s party has a clear mandate for its manifesto. So what can the built environment expect from our new government?

Starmer and soon-to-be chancellor Rachel Reeves outlined their first 100 days strategy in an interview with The Times earlier this week. Within it, they promised the following:

  • Incoming housing secretary Angela Raynor will announce a housebuilding programme at the start of the government’s second week
  • In the third week, Raynor will tell local authorities to start regularly reviewing Green Belt boundaries in a way that ensures they are able to hit housing targets
  • The government will start recruiting 300 planning officers for local authorities
  • A ‘first dibs’ programme will be introduced, which will prioritise new homes for a certain number of local residents before they go to overseas investors
  • A draft National Planning Policy Framework will be published by the end of July, reintroducing housing targets

Combing through Labour’s manifesto, here is a look at what else has been promised. Most of the text below has been paraphrased from the manifesto itself.

HOUSING AND PLANNING

  • Build 1.5m new homes over the next parliament
  • Take tough action to ensure planning authorities have up-to-date local plans
  • Fund more planning officers through an increase in the Stamp Duty surcharge paid by non-UK residents
  • Build New Towns
  • Require all combined and mayoral authorities to have a strategic plan for housing growth in their areas – and also give combined authorities new planning powers to better use grant funding
  • Improve the Affordable Homes Programme
  • Review Right to Buy discounts
  • Reform compulsory purchase compensation rules so that fair compensation is given rather than inflated ones
  • Update National Policy Planning Framework to restore mandatory housing targets
  • End entire developments being sold to international investors before they are built
  • Introduce a permanent and comprehensive mortgage guarantee scheme for first-time buyers
  • Invest £6.6bn over the next parliament to upgrade 5m homes to be more energy efficient
  • Regarding Green Belt, encourage brownfield first, but explore releasing lower quality Green Belt land for development
  • Update the NPPF to make it easier to build labs, digital infrastructure, data centres, and gigafactories

TRANSPORT

  • Fix an additional 1m potholes across England each year of the next Parliament using money saved from deferring the A27 bypass
  • Accelerate the roll-out of electric vehicle charging points
  • Bring railways into public ownership as existing contracts expire or are broken through failure to deliver
  • Introduce a new body – Great British Railways – that will focus on service, investment, day-to-day operations, and passenger improvements for rail travel
  • Involve mayors in the process of designing the services in their areas
  • Promote and grow the use of rail freight
  • Create passenger watchdog
  • Lift the ban on municipal ownership of local bus services
  • Give mayors the power to create integrated transport systems and promote active travel networks

INDUSTRY AND INFRASTRUCTURE

  • Establish an Industrial Strategy Council
  • Create a National Wealth Fund with £7.3bn over the next Parliament to support clean energy and growth missions – with £1.8bn going towards upgrading ports and building supply chains, £1.5b towards gigafactories, £2.5bn towards rebuilding the steel industry, and £500m towards supporting the manufacture of green energy
  • Develop a 10-year infrastructure strategy
  • Create a National Infrastructure and Service Transformation Authority to set strategic infrastructure priorities and oversee the delivery of these projects
  • Push to have full gigabit and national 5G coverage by 2030
  • Upgrade national transmission infrastructure
  • Require local growth plans where local authorities will work with employers, universities, industry, and colleges to identify growth sectors in their area and to deliver programmes and infrastructure required to make that happen

ENERGY

  • Set up Great British Energy, a publicly owned clean power company using funds generated by a windfall tax on oil and gas companies – a total of £8.3bn over the next Parliament
  • Double onshore wind power, triple solar power, and quadruple offshore wind power by 2030
  • Invest in carbon capture and storage
  • Invest in hydrogen and marine energy
  • Ensure the UK has enough long-term energy storage
  • Push forward with new nuclear power stations such as Sizewell C and small modular nuclear reactors
  • Introduce a phased transition in the North Sea away from oil and gas production – not by revoking existing licenses, but by managing existing fields for the entirety of their lifespan and then using the existing offshore infrastructure to enable energy production and storage.

DEVOLUTION

  • Provide councils with multi-year funding settlements rather than doing awards through a constant competitive bidding process
  • Deepen devolution settlements with existing combined authorities and expand devolution to more areas
  • Give mayors the power to create integrated transport systems and promote active travel networks

BUSINESS RATES

  • Replace the current system with a new model that levels the playing field between high street stores and online retailers

NATURE

  • Create nine National River Walks, one in each region of England
  • Establish three National Forests in England
  • Plant millions of trees

PRISON AND HEALTH INFRASTRUCTURE

  • Build more prisons
  • Deliver the New Hospitals Programme

Your Comments

Read our comments policy

A good list of lovely promises. If 1/4 of them come to pass that will be surprising. One hopes that the above doesn’t bankrupt t the county like the last time.

By David H

I like the idea of building new towns rather than packing people into already congested towns and cities

By Anonymous

Bankruptcy?

By Next

Bankruptcy? That only happens to bodies or businesses that take crazy risks. Governments that do not depend on foreign debt cannot go bankrupt. Puzzle over that one.

By Anonymous

The “last time” the country was bankrupted by the collapse of capitalism: remember? most banks, insurance firms, mortgage firms, hedge funds etc. It was a Labour government that bailed out capitalism. Not very Socialist was it?

By Anonymous

It’s the donors and their interests that will determine policies Labour in government.Remember Starmer also ditched every single one of the policy commitments he made in order to become Labour leader,and he will do so again now he is Prime Minister.

By Anonymous

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