Labour launches Manifesto for ‘Change’ in Manchester

Keir Starmer launched the Labour Manifesto on Thursday 13th June in Manchester, titled ‘Change’. The Manifesto outlines Labour’s approach to ‘mission driven government’. Mission driven government means raising our sights as a nation, and focusing on ambitious, measurable, long-term objectives which includes ambitious plans on planning reform.

There were no policies the Party had not mentioned in previous statements as Keir hammered home the idea that Labour would bring ‘stability’ to the country and would not ‘pull a rabbit out of the hat’ regarding policy.

Both as Deputy Leader and Shadow Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Angela Rayner began the launch, noting home ownership as one of the three worries she had been hearing about on her campaign trail across the country.

Before introducing three guest speakers and Sir Keir, Rayner confidently said the Labour Party would ‘get Britain building by reintroducing housing targets and reforming the planning system’.

In Keir’s speech, he covered many different areas but on planning, he professed that Labour ‘will reform the planning rules, a choice ignored for 14 years, and build homes and infrastructure’ and, in keeping with the last year of verbal slanging on planning, referred to the Conservative Party as the ‘blockers of aspiration’. Both he and Rachel Reeves, the Shadow Chancellor, cite planning reform as the fastest thing they can do to increase growth, promising initial change within 100 days.

Shadow Housing Minister, Matthew Pennycook, who got the best degree in his year at the London School of Economics and knows the brief inside out, will now be in a far better position to achieve Labour’s objectives than any of his seven Conservative predecessors, with a Secretary of State and Leader supportive of reform and action.

The key policies regarding planning are:

Building More Homes

Labour has cemented its pledge to build 1.5 million homes in the next parliament, by undoing ‘damaging’ changes to the NPPF, restoring mandatory housing targets of 300,000 a year and ensuring councils have up-to-date Local Plans and additional planning officers. Labour will also deliver a massive increase in social and affordable housebuilding by strengthening planning obligations for affordable housing, supporting councils and housing associations to increase their capacity. Labour will not be afraid to use intervention powers to ‘build the houses we need’.

Strategic Planning

Labour will bring in mechanisms for cross-boundary strategic planning and will require all Combined and Mayoral Authorities to strategically plan for housing growth in their area.

New Towns

Labour will deliver a new generation of New Towns which will see spades in the ground before the end of their first parliament. Click here to read more about Labour’s plans for New Towns.

Brownfield First

Labour will take a brownfield first approach and fast track the approval of urban brownfield sites.

Nutrient Neutrality

Labour plans to unlock the construction of homes affected by nutrient neutrality.

National Infrastructure

Labour would review national infrastructure planning policies to speed up nationally significant infrastructure projects and will remove planning barriers to new nationally important infrastructure such as data centres and prisons.

Green Belt

Labour will preserve ‘good’ Green Belt and will strategically release lower quality ‘Grey Belt’ such as ex-industrial land. Click here to read more about Labour’s ‘Grey Belt’ policy. They will also introduce ‘Golden Rules’ to determine Green Belt release. Click here to see what these Golden Rules are.

Good Design

Labour will make ‘exemplary development’s’ the norm and encourage high quality, well-designed sustainable housing.

Land Value Capture

Labour will review Land Value Capture to ensure landowners are awarded fair compensation for land rather than prices based on the prospect of planning permission. They will also work with councils to ensure that first-time buyers have first choice of new developments rather than allowing international investors to bulk buy off plan.

Clean Energy

Labour will work with the private sector to double onshore wind power, triple solar power and quadruple offshore wind by 2030 as part of their mission to reach Net Zero. They will also create a new Energy Independence Act which will establish the framework for Labour’s energy and climate policies.


Mission driven government is a catchy phrase. We must all hope Matthew Pennycook, Angela Rayner and all those involved in the sector can work together to deliver Labour’s planning aspirations if they are elected. Success is not inevitable, and the ‘Politics of Planning’ can knock the best aspirations off course, as we know from 14 years of Conservative Government.


Click here to see the Labour Manifesto

Click here to see the Labour Manifesto Launch Video

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