Labour pledges to build five new towns

Out-Law News | 25 Nov 2013 | 3:14 pm | 1 min. read

Labour's new shadow housing minister has said that the party intends to build five new towns in the first five years of a Labour government. This would equate to 200,000 new homes in each administrative year.

The plans would seek to ease the estimated shortage of one million homes by 2022 and would be built in areas where there is the greatest housing need.

"The last time there was a massive increase in housing supply was in the postwar period and we want to recapture that spirit," Emma Reynolds told the Observer newspaper. "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."

"At the moment we are building less than half of the houses we need to keep up with demand, and that is why the market is so dysfunctional. I think there is enough land in the country to meet housing need and have a fantastic countryside. Of course, we want to protect that and have green spaces. This isn't just about numbers, and that is why the garden city model is interesting. We want quality new towns," she said.

Reynolds criticised the Government stating that it had done next to nothing to promote housbuilding and that it has simply increased demand with its help-to-buy schemes. She said that Labour would create an incentive for local authorities to hand over land for housing developments to development corporations. The Treasury would then act as a guarantor for the corporations when they borrowed money on the private markets to fund the building of the new towns.