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Propertymark lukewarm on Labour housing reforms

Propertymark has struck a lukewarm tone in its response to Labour’s housing ambitions.

The trade body says that to meet its manifesto pledge of 1.5 million new homes within this parliamentary term, Labour must deliver just over 1,150 new homes consistently every single working day for the next five years without defaulting.

“This is roughly equivalent to delivering at least five large scale housing estates every single week to achieve the newly set housing target” says Propertymark in a statement.


The body says a more detailed plan is needed as a priority and “there must also be full disclosure on infrastructure planning to support homes as they are being built.”

It says developments must have comprehensive design regarding essential services such as education, policing, health, transport, and employment – “it cannot ever be a case of weaving thousands of additional new homes into current metropolitan areas and expecting the current structure to absorb the additional pressures.”

It says it also wants details of how Labour will achieve a wide-ranging skillset and workforce to build so many homes.

“There must be cross party cooperation and strong stakeholder engagement to ensure plans are workable, realistic, and can be delivered within the timeframe promised” it says.

And it is concerned about Chancellor Rachel Reeves’ desire to build on some green belt land, saying “this should involve a full review to prioritise alternative available land to achieve their housing targets.”

Chief executive Nathan Emerson comments: "Building 1.5m new homes by the next general election is a challenging target, but Propertymark would like to see urgent clarity and detail as to how this ambition can be achieved. This goal would require over a thousand new homes to be built every working day before 2029.”

Labour’s housing commitments, outlined earlier this week, are:

- Restore mandatory housebuilding targets;

- Build 1.5m homes by the end of this parliament - including affordable and council homes;

- End the onshore wind farm ban;

- Create a new task force to accelerate stalled housing sites - starting with 14,000 new homes across Liverpool Central Docks, Worcester, Northstowe and Langley Sutton Coldfield;

- Support local authorities with 300 additional planning officers across the country;

- Review planning applications previously turned down that could help the economy - planning appeals for data centres in Buckinghamshire and in Hertfordshire are already being reconsidered;

- Prioritise brownfield and grey belt land for development to meet housing targets when needed;

- Reform the planning system to "deliver the infrastructure that our country needs" - unresolved infrastructure projects to be prioritised; and

- Set out new policy intentions for critical infrastructure in the coming months.


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