Tory manifesto promises planning changes to support discounted homes for 'local people'

Councils would be given powers to use developer contributions to discount new homes for "local people" by a third, while infrastructure would have to be provided in new developments before any housing is occupied, the Conservative Party manifesto promises.

Conservative Party leader Boris Johnson. Image by Cabinet Office
Conservative Party leader Boris Johnson. Image by Cabinet Office

The document, which was published yesterday, suggested that the discounted homes proposal would offer more homes to local families who cannot afford to buy in their areas.

However, the document does not spell out how the policy would differ from existing requirements to provide affordable housing on new schemes.

The manifesto said: "We will offer more homes to local families, enabling councils to use developers’ contributions via the planning process to discount homes in perpetuity by a third for local people who cannot otherwise afford to buy in their area.

"Councils could use this to prioritise key workers in their area, like police, nurses and teachers."

Elsewhere, the document said that planning rules would be amended "so that the infrastructure – roads, schools, GP surgeries – comes before people move into new homes".  

The manifesto also pledges to allow every community "to decide on its own design standards for new development, allowing residents a greater say on the style and design of development in their area".

The commitment is in line with the work of the government's Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission which published it's interim report earlier this year. 

There would also be "support" for the creation of low energy homes, while all new streets would be expected to be lined with trees, the manifesto said.

The document further promises that a future Conservative administration would "protect and enhance the green belt", and "continue to prioritise brownfield development".

On the environment, the party vows to invest in decarbonisation schemes and provide £4 billion for flood defences. There would also be support for electric vehicle infrastructure, including "a national plug-in network and gigafactory". 

The manifesto also commits to providing £800 million to build the UK’s first "carbon capture storage cluster" by the mid 2020s, and re-commits to the current Tory government’s introduction of a moratorium on fracking.

In addition, the manifesto repeats a commitment to bring forward a social housing white paper.

"This will include measures to provide greater redress, better regulation and improve the quality of social housing," the manifesto said.

Planning asked the Conservative Party for clarification as to which jurisdictions each of the policies in their manifesto would affect but had yet to receive a reply by the time of publication.

Last week, the Labour Party’s manifesto committed to building "at an annual rate of at least 150,000 council and social homes, with 100,000 of these built by councils for social rent".

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Join the conversation with PlanningResource on social media

Follow Us:
Planning Jobs