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General Election 2017: Labour vows to resource planning departments

Words: Laura Edgar
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn / Shutterstock_596092925

The Labour Party has pledged to ‘properly resource and bolster’ planning authorities with fuller powers so that communities are at the heart of planning.

On planning


Launched yesterday (16 May) by leader Jeremy Corbyn, the party’s manifesto states that under the Conservative Party, planning has been “under-resourced and disempowered,” with planning authorities “unable to stand up to big developers”.

This has meant that planning decisions have become “too influenced” by narrow economic considerations with “developers’ profit taking precedence over community priorities”.

If Labour win the election on 8 June, it will “properly resource and bolster" planning authorities with fuller powers to “put people and communities at the heart of planning”.

The party would also update compulsory purchase powers so that they are more effective as a tool to drive regeneration and unlock planned development.

In addition to this, Labour would launch a review into reforming council tax and business rates. The party would consider new options such as a land value tax to ensure that local government has sustainable funding for the long term.

On housing


By the end of the next Parliament, the manifesto states that a Labour government would be building at least 100,000 council and housing association homes a year for “genuinely affordable rent or sale”.

New build low-cost homes would be reserved for first-time buyers and Help to Buy funding would be guaranteed until 2027, declares the manifesto. Additionally, local people buying their first home will get “first dibs” on new homes built in their area.

For private renters, three-year tenancies could be the norm and legislation could be established to ban letting agency fees for tenants. New legal minimum standards would be installed under Labour to ensure that properties are “fit for human habitation”.

Labour promises it would set out a national plan to end rough sleeping within the next Parliament, including reserving 4,000 additional homes for people with a history of rough sleeping.

On infrastructure


The HS2 line from London, to Birmingham and then on to Leeds and Manchester would be completed and then extended into Scotland, under Labour. HS2 would be linked with other rail investments, such as Crossrail of the North, according to the manifesto.

Under a Labour government, a new Brighton train line for the South-East would be built, Crossrail 2 would be built, railways would be brought back into public ownership, and rail electrification across England and Wales would take place.

Other infrastructure measures include:

  • Consulting with local communities to re-open branch lines.
  • Investing in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, working with devolved government through the UK National Infrastructure Commission and its devolved counterparts.
  • Delivery of universal superfast broadband by 2022.

On energy


The manifesto outlines plans to ban fracking and a commitment to renewable energy, including tidal lagoons. It also supports nuclear projects.

On the environment


Labour says it would ensure that there would be no detrimental change to environmental protections as a result of Brexit. The party would also establish a clean air act to deal with air quality.


The Labour manifesto can be found here (pdf).

General Election 2017 manifestos

Liberal Democrats

Plaid Cymru


Green Party

Scottish National Party

Image credit | Shutterstock