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The Conservative Party Manifesto 2019

 

The Conservative Party launched their election manifesto on Sunday 24th November 2019.  Amongst some of the usual planning ‘suspects’ such as greenbelt, new homes and affordable housing, the party has chosen also to pick up on more specific matters such as design, electric charging points and even expecting all new streets to be lined with trees.  Starting with the usual planning ‘suspects:’

  • Greenbelt/brownfield – will continue to protect and enhance the greenbelt by continuing to focus new development on brownfield land.  At the same time, they have pledged to make the countryside more accessible to local communities whilst improving poor quality land which, where possible, can increase biodiversity
  • New homes – continue to progress towards the target of 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020’s, the belief is that at least a million new homes can be delivered over the forthcoming Parliament term
  • Affordable homes – renew the Affordable Homes Programme following a publication of a new Social Housing White paper

Thereafter appear a number of specific topics designed to be tackled by policy, investment or particular geographic focus:

  • Design – encouraging/expecting local communities to decide on their own design standards when development comes forward.  This builds on earlier policy announcements which aim, through central guidance, to bring through a more ‘uniform’ approach to design standards when being assessed at local levels
  • Development infrastructure – bringing in policy to ensure that development infrastructure is delivered before residents occupy new homes, the spur being a new £10bn Single Housing Infrastructure Fund
  • Cycle infrastructure – the introduction of mandatory design standards for new cycle routes with a new £365m Cycling Infrastructure Fund to support this
  • New homes for local families – through developers S106 contributions in the planning system, enable councils to discount homes in perpetuity by a third to local people who cannot otherwise afford to buy in their area.  The implication here is that this is can assist in the provision of ‘key worker’ accommodation for the likes of the commonly recognised police, teachers and nurses through to other less commonly picked up such as local authority town planners and probation officers
  • Electric vehicles – rolling out a £1bn fast-charging network to ensure everyone is within 30 miles of a rapid electric charging point
  • The setting up of a new independent Office for Environmental Protection which will issue and oversee specific legal targets to deal with subjects such as air pollution
  • Trees – ensuring all new developments where streets are created, to have trees lining them

There then also appear a number of initiatives which are less planning specific, more national or regional ‘boosters’ which have less immediate or exact planning impact, examples being:

  • A new £3.6bn “Towns Fund” to improve the local economy of an initial 100 towns
  • Funding new youth clubs and services (£500m), new civic infrastructure (£250m) and a Community Ownership Fund (£150m), this being to encourage local communities to take over community assets which are under threat
  • Regional ‘boosts’ – applying “Northern Powerhouse” principles to Liverpool, Tees Valley and Hull, investing in the Midlands Rail Hub and funding city-regions to upgrade transport series  to parallel London

Read our key points from the Liberal and Labour  Manifestos.

Visit our blog again soon where we will give our opinion of the General Election results. 

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