Within just 72 hours of winning the polls, Chancellor Rachel Reeves has set out Labour’s commitment to economic growth and housebuilding with a series of policy announcements. In her first speech as Chancellor, Reeves made clear that Labour will now deliver on its mantra to ‘Get Britain Building Again’.

Firstly, Labour will restore mandatory housing targets, to deliver 300,000 homes a year, adding up to 1.5 million homes by the end of the Parliament. If successful, this would be a level of housebuilding that hasn’t been seen in the UK since the 1950s.

To meet this ambitious target, Deputy Prime Minister, Angela Rayner, will write to planning authorities to ensure they are prioritising brownfield and grey belt land and will be asking for any planning applications that have national investment significance to be flagged. There will also be a review of planning applications previously turned down that have tangible benefits for the overall economy.

It was announced that the government has already given the go ahead to build 14,000 new homes across Liverpool Central Docks, Worcester, Northstowe and Langley Sutton Coldfield. Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Angela Rayner is already reconsidering planning appeals for data centres in Buckinghamshire and in Hertfordshire.

Local authorities will be supported with 300 additional planning offices and Labour’s ‘Golden Rules’, which say that new applications must target at least 50% affordable housing delivery on any grey belt land that is released, will increase the flow of affordable and social homes.

The Chancellor announced reforms for the planning system that would seek to “deliver the infrastructure that our country needs.” As a result, large infrastructure projects of national significance that have sat unresolved in planning limbo for a long time will be prioritised to speed up the decision-making process. Reeves also announced that since taking office she has established a growth delivery unit, which will focus on encouraging investment and economic growth across the UK.

Time will tell how these policies will play out in practice, and the devil will be in the detail. However, one thing’s for sure, the message coming from the Labour party today is that they are serious about delivering on housebuilding commitments and are doing so with speed.

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