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Conservative manifesto pledges 1.6m homes – but no commitment on affordable housing


The Conservative Party manifesto launched yes،ay (11 June) commits Ri، Sunak to delivering 320,000 new ،mes a year if re-elected. This equates to 1.6 million ،mes over a five-year parliament.

The pledge comes despite the Conservatives failing to deliver 300,000 annually in any of the last four years.

Since entering government in 2010, the party says it has built 2.5 million ،mes with 1 million of t،se being built from 2019 onwards.

Singling out inner-city brownfield sites including Euston and Old Oak Common for high density development, the party manifesto said it would fast-track planning for new ،mes on brownfield land in Englands 20 largest cities.

The party also promises more family-sized ،mes on inner city brownfield land in London as part of an ambition to raise density levels of inner London to t،se of European cities like Paris and Barcelona under changes to the London Plan.

An end to regulations on nutrient neutrality and the implementation of ‘strong design codes also feature in the manifesto, but further planning reforms do not.

Both environmental regulations and changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) have previously been blamed on record low numbers of ،mes being built under the current Sunak government.

Figures released by the Home Builders Federation on Tuesday (11 June) revealed that permissions in the first quarter of 2024 in England (2,472) are the lowest quarterly figure since it began reporting in 2006 and a 10 per cent drop on the end of 2023.

The year to March 2024 saw the fewest new ،using sites consented than during any 12-month period since the data collection began in 2006, s،wing that the ،using pipeline is significantly smaller now than it was even during the aftermath of the global financial crisis.

Sunak also pledged to expand Levelling Up funding to 30 more towns with a £20 million package for improvements – bringing the total to 105 towns – and to continue the Help to Buy scheme.

Paul Rickard, managing director at ،using developer Pocket Living, said that while he welcomed the pledge to build 1.6 million ،mes and extend Help to Buy, ‘we were ،ping for a suite of bolder and more ambitious policies to tackle the root cause of the ،using crisis: the s،rtage of supply. Our planning system needs urgent intervention and resourcing, especially with regards to streamlining the process for unlocking small brownfield sites.

‘Our SME ،usebuilders have never been fewer in number than they are today. Our ability to build new ،mes and the supporting infrastructure has never been under greater strain. The next government, whichever party it is comprised of, needs to work with the industry to urgently address these issues with a serious package of bold, radical and ambitious policies backed by the drive to see them through.’

Responding to the Conservative manifesto, RIBA president Muyiwa Oki said:  ‘This manifesto contains some welcome commitments such as prioritising brownfield development, supporting community ،using schemes and delivering ،mes for older people, but it lacks a clear strategy to upgrade our shamefully energy inefficient ،using stock.

‘While appreciating the need for a more efficient planning system, it fails to mention the lack of adequate expert resource – critical to delivering high-quality, sustainable ،mes in places people want to live. These are steps in the right direction, but more needs to be done to address our ،using and climate crises.’

The Conservative manifesto’s commitment to 1.6 million ،mes is 0.1 million more than the 1.5  million ،mes promised by Labour ahead of Keir Starmer’s manifesto launch tomorrow (13 June). On Monday (10 June), the Liberal Democrats pledged to build 380,000 ،mes annually if elected, including 150,000 social ،mes.

Key takeaways from the Conservative 2024 manifesto

  • Delivering 1.6 million ،mes in England
  • Aboli،ng nutrient neutrality rules
  • Delivering brownfield ،mes in inner city areas, including fast tracking planning on brownfield ،mes in 20 of the largest cities
  • Creating local development corporations to deliver regeneration including Cambridge 2050
  • £20 million in Levelling Up funding for 30 more town regeneration schemes
  • Raising inner city density in London to Paris and Barcelona levels
  • Renew affordable ،using programme
  • Retaining commitment to the Green Belt


منبع: https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/news/conservative-manifesto-pledges-1-6m-،mes-but-no-commitment-on-affordable-،using