Labour’s housing targets will be doomed from outset says legal firm

New research suggests 15 councils have cut their housebuilding plans ahead of an expected Labour victory at the General Election.

labour housing

Labour’s plans to boost housebuilding if it wins the General Election may be scuppered even before they take power.

New research reported in The Times shows that 15 local councils have cut their building targets by 10%.

Impossible to deliver

A reduction of 10% across the country would make it impossible for Labour to deliver on its pledge to create 1.5 million homes within five years.

The analysis by planning consultancy Lichfields reveals that South Staffordshire Council has reduced its annual housing target by more than 40%, and Hertsmere Council by 25%.

Taken advantage
Michael Gove MP

The councils have ‘taken advantage’ of changes introduced last year by Housing Secretary Michael Gove that allow them to avoid building on green belt land.

If the local authorities set their targets now it will make it difficult for a future Labour government to change them.

Labour says it will scrap Gove’s planning rules as soon as it gains power, but it will still take months.


A Labour source said: “This seems to be a scorched-earth strategy to allow councils to adopt unrealistic housebuilding targets before we can put measures in place to stop them.”

“But we will be using all the powers that we have to ensure that we meet our pledge to build the homes we need.”

Matthew Pennycook MP
Matthew Pennycook MP

Matthew Pennycook, the Shadow Minister for Housing, accused the Conservatives of giving in to their “anti-housebuilding backbenchers”, and “torpedoing” housing supply.

A Conservative source said the Government was on track to deliver one million homes in this parliament.

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