What can we expect from our new Government in relation to planning?

Following last week’s election we have a new government in power and significant changes are expected to the UK’s planning system and housing sector. Forming part of the Labour Party’s manifesto was a commitment to building 1.5 million homes during the next parliament, but how are the government planning to do this?

The government’s immediate plan is to update the National Policy Planning Framework including restoring mandatory housing targets. The manifesto included more funding for planning officers which they plan to fund by increasing the rate of the stamp duty surcharge paid by non-UK residents.

Labour have indicated they will take a brownfield first approach, prioritising the development of previously used land, and fast-tracking approval of urban brownfield sites whilst also allowing development on low-quality green-belt land, otherwise known as ‘grey belt’, to deliver housing on the outskirts of existing towns through ‘urban extensions and regeneration projects’.  They have also pledged to build new towns across the country, although how this will be done is unclear.

Labour has said it will work with local authorities to give first-time buyers priority over investors to buy new homes and they have pledged to introduce a permanent, comprehensive mortgage guarantee scheme, to support first-time buyers who struggle to save for a large deposit, with lower mortgage costs.

The government has also pledged to increase the number of social houses built, although no numbers are given for the number planned.

Key takeaways from the Labour 2024 manifesto:

  • Build 1.5 million homes over the five-year parliament.
  • Reintroduce housing targets as part of reform of the NPPF.
  • Brownfield and grey-belt-first development.
  • New towns.
  • Require local authorities to update local plans to deliver more homes.
  • More planning officers funded by an increase in stamp duty surcharge for non-UK residents.
  • Prioritise the building of new social rented homes, review Right to Buy, and increase protections on newly built social housing.
  • Deliver an increase in social and affordable housebuilding and strengthen planning obligations to provide more affordable housing.

How we can help?

When new legislation is introduced we shall review and post updates on our website to ensure you are kept informed.  Our team of specialist lawyers are here to provide expert guidance and support for all of your residential and commercial property needs so do get in touch to see how we can help you.