Labour hopes for five new towns by 2020

Reports that the shadow housing minister Emma Reynolds has said she would 'love to think' Labour could build up to five new towns in its first five years in government feature in today's newspaper round-up.

The Guardian reports
that Emma Reynolds said the towns "would be built in those areas of greatest need in a bid to tackle a projected shortage of a million homes by 2022". The newspaper quotes Reynolds saying: "I don't think we will do as well as the Attlee government, with 11 new towns; I think that is quite a lot. I would love to think we could deliver four or five, and that would still be significant".

The Guardian also reports that planning minister Nick Boles has suggested that young people "who cannot afford to buy somewhere to live should be handed plots of state-owned land so they can build homes of their own". According to the newspaper, the idea is "in the development stage of coalition policy and Boles is giving it extra impetus, declaring that young Britons want ‘the opportunity to get on and help themselves’". The newspaper says that Boles is proposing that, "instead of renting in the open market or applying for council housing, young people should be able to ‘put yourself on the list for self-build’. The list would run in parallel with the council house waiting list".

The Financial Times (subscription) reports that the London Borough of Croydon will tonight decide whether to approve a major retail-led development aimed at regenerating the town. According to the newspaper, the scheme "could provide the trigger for a dozen or so property schemes, transforming the economic fortunes of the town by creating a magnet for shoppers and laying the groundwork for a resurgence in business and new residents".

The Sunday Times
(subscription) reports that Prime Minister David Cameron has been warned that he faces defeat over the High Speed Two (HS2) rail link "unless he makes a deal with Labour, because of the scale of the rebellion among backbenchers". According to the newspaper, Tory whips have warned Cameron "that between 40 and 50 Conservative MPs are likely to vote against allowing the construction of the controversial line between London and the Midlands – enough to lead to its defeat without Labour support".

The Financial Times
(subscription) says that the publication of the HS2 hybrid bill to allow for the construction of the first phase of the scheme is "expected to receive 25,000 objections".

The historical site Old Oswestry in Shropshire, "one of Europe's best preserved iron age hill forts" is at risk from plans to build almost 200 luxury homes next to it, the Guardian reports. According to the newspaper, "some 6,000 people have signed a petition opposing the development, part of the county council's plan to build 2,600 homes by 2026 to comply with government targets".

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