News and Publications

Developers will applaud Labour’s pro-development stance, but details are needed

Posted: 21/06/2024

Overall, the Conservatives’ manifesto reiterates what they’ve been saying for some time. It contains points that could improve processes, but many are promises we have seen before. In the context of housing delivery, the current administration’s planning policies have not improved housing delivery. The general industry view is that the current system slows down and prevents development, and housing development in particular.

Labour has made commitments to reform planning, which many in the industry will be pleased to see, but there’s a lot we don’t know.

One of the most headline-grabbing points relates to effective grading of the greenbelt to release land for development. While this is welcome, the manifesto mentions ‘golden rules’ without saying what they are; from a developer’s point of view,  these rules will need to be examined closely, particularly with the pledge that Labour will “will ensure local communities continue to shape housebuilding in their area”.

Labour’s promise to reform the planning system “immediately” is also welcome but unclear on how.

One of the party’s main pledges is to reinstate mandatory housing targets, which the current administration has watered down, and reintroduce regional strategies. This second measure is  welcome, but, as with reform of the planning system, will take time to implement.

The Lib Dems focus on empowering neighbourhoods with local policies. They also want the planning system “to work for our natural environment”, but overall their policies do not provide much that is new.

Labour has made a number of pro-development pledges, which our development clients will applaud. Although many items have been heard before, there is a clear sense of change incoming. The party’s policies will however take a lot longer to implement than the manifesto envisages. There are ways they could implement change relatively quickly,  written ministerial statements for instance, but the overall theme of fundamental change, whilst welcome, will take much longer. As always, the overall impact will depend on detail.

Arrow GIFReturn to news headlines

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under number 419867.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP