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| 2 minutes read

Planning promises... Labour pledges to make a change

After a decade and a half, Britain has woken up to a new Labour Government. There are several anticipated changes within planning as pledged by the Labour manifesto. 

Here are the main changes and pledges to look out for:

  1. An immediate update to the National Planning Policy Framework to undo the recent changes made by the Conservative Party. This will include reversing the mandatory housing targets made by the Conservative Party in December 2023.
  2. Direct action to ensure local planning authorities hold up-to-date local plans.
  3. Funding additional planning officers through the increase of the rate of stamp duty surcharge paid by non-UK residents. The pledge is to appoint at least 300 new planning officers.
  4. Introduce strategic planning across the country, by introducing effective new mechanisms for cross-boundary strategic planning. This will require all Combined and Mayoral Authorities to strategically plan for housing growth in their areas. 
  5. Give Combined Authorities new planning powers along with new freedoms and flexibilities to make better use of grant funding.
  6. Further reform compulsory purchase compensation rules to improve land assembly, speed up site delivery, and deliver housing, infrastructure, amenity, and transport benefits in the public interest. The manifesto states Labour will take steps to ensure that for specific types of development schemes, landowners are awarded fair compensation rather than inflated prices based on the prospect of planning permission.
  7. Commitment to preserving the green belt by taking a ‘strategic approach’ to releasing ‘lower quality ‘grey belt’ land’, while maintaining a ‘brownfield first approach’.
  8. Commitment to deliver an increase in social and affordable housing by strengthening planning obligations to ensure new developments provide more affordable homes.

The manifesto also stated it will support councils and housing associations to build their capacity and make a greater contribution to affordable housing supply. No target number has been set for the amount of affordable or social homes the party will help deliver.

The shadow chancellor of the exchequer, Rachel Reeves, previously stated that a new version of the NPPF will be published in the first 100 days of the new Labour government. Furthermore, reports have suggested that the new housing secretary seeks to write to local authorities within three weeks of the election to begin ‘regularly reviewing’ their green belt boundaries to ensure they are hitting housing targets. This proactive approach to the reformation of the English planning system will be welcomed by many and has been long sought after. 

There have been no proposals for a community right of appeal. 

AC will be closely monitoring announcements and changes within planning in the upcoming months. 

If you have any questions about the changes, please do not hesitate to contact the planning team -



planning, local government, housing