Labour leader expected to loosen planning rules and incentivise ’Georgian townhouse-style’ design

Keir Starmer will later today announce plans to build the “next generation of new towns”, it has been reported.

The Labour leader will this afternoon promise a “decade of national renewal” in his address to his party’s annual conference in Liverpool, a party spokesperson said.

kier starmer 1

Keir Starmer will address the Labour conference from 2pm today

Starmer, according to widespread media reports, will announce plans to build large-scale settlements on land acquired by government-backed companies.

These companies would have powers to buy land at lower prices, without having to factor in the usual increase in the value for potential planning permission.

Labour is set to run a consultation to identify areas with “unmet housing need” suitable for new development.

Local councils would be invited to draw up proposals, with any affordable homes being put towards meeting their local housing targets.

Starmer is also expected to pledge to rewrite planning rules to set out new design standards which will have a focus on “gentle urban development” emulating Georgian five-storey townhouses.

Developers meeting the standards would then be given ‘planning passports’ to make it easier to build on brownfield land.

Starmer will also allow low-quality green belt such as scrubland to be released for development.

He will say: “People are looking to us because they want our wounds to heal, and we are the healers.

“People are looking to us because these challenges require a modern state and we are the modernisers. People are looking to us because they want us to build a new Britain and we are the builders.”

>>See also: Labour would commission inquiry into HS2 costs, says Reeves

Angela Rayner, housing secretary, pledged to boost affordable housing delivery by reforming the planning system and strengthening rules on developers to stop them “wriggling out of their responsibilities”.

Yesterday Rachel Reeves, shadow chancellor announced plans to speed up “critically important” infrastructure such as life sciences facilities, battery factories and 5G infrastructure.

Meanwhile, communities would be given incentives for allowing development, clearer national guidance would be set for developers to avoid unnecessary litigation and the stamp duty surcharge paid by non-UK residents would be raised to 3% to pay for 300 new planning officers.