Labour to set up new commission chaired by Sir Michael Lyons to examine ways to boost housebuilding to 200,000 homes per year

Ed Miliband is to set up a new commission to be chaired by Sir Michael Lyons to examine measures to boost housebuilding to 200,000 homes per year.

In his speech at the Labour party conference in Brighton today, the Labour leader pledged that a Labour government would reform the UK’s housing market to ensure that 200,000 homes are built each year by 2020.

The Labour leader did not promise additional capital spending, but said the party had appointed Sir Michael Lyons, a local government finance expert and former BBC Trust chairman, to lead a review designed to ensure that an incoming Labour government would be able to swiftly draw up housing reform legislation.

The Lyons housing commission will examine:

  • how to strengthen and expand the use of compulsory purchase orders to enable local authorities to more easily buy, assemble and grant planning permission on land
  • how to give councils powers to levy fees on developers that do not develop land with planning permission - as outlined by the Labour leader in June when he said Labour would give councils “use-it-or-lose-it” powers to penalise firms which do not proceed with construction
  • how to give councils a new ‘right-to-grow’ status that will enable councils to demand neighbouring authorities co-operate to drop opposition to new homes
  • set out detailed plans to establish New Towns and Garden Cities

In his speech, Miliband said: “There are nine million people in this country renting a home, many of whom who would rent to buy – nine million people - we don’t just have a cost of living crisis, we have a housing crisis too.

“We’ll say to private developers we can’t just sit on land: either use the land or lose the land -that is what the next Labour government will do.

“We’ll say to local authorities that they have a right to grow, we’ll identify new towns and garden cities and we’ll have an aim that at the end of the parliament Britain will be building 200,000 homes a year, more than at any time in a generation.

“That’s how we make Britain better than this.”