The Liberal Democrats launched their party manifesto today. The main planning and built environment related policies are summarised below:
- Remain committed to introducing Land Value Tax (LVT), which would replace Business Rates in the longer term and could enable the reduction or abolition of other taxes
- Lib Dems to extend the Business Rates review to ensure it considers the implementation of LVT, as well as interim reforms like Site Value Rating that could be completed within five years
- Lib Dems to charge Land Registry with completing registration of all substantial land and property holdings in England and Wales by 2020
- Local Authorities to clear responsibility for local school places planning
- Expand accessible green space with new National Nature Parks chosen by local communities, and plant a tree for every child born
- Update construction and planning standards to future-proof buildings against higher summer temperatures
- Put Local Authorities in the driving seat for plan-led development by requiring them to make a plan for 15 years of housing need (see more here)
- Lib Dems seek to increase the rate of house building to 300,000 a year that will be set out in a long-term plan in first year of the next Parliament.
- A government commissioning programme will boost house building towards the target. Where the market alone fails to deliver sufficient numbers, government agencies will directly commission homes for sale and rent to fill the gap
- Introduction of a UK-wide High Value Property Levy on residential properties worth over £2 million. It will have a banded structure, like Council Tax
- Encourage landlords to lower their rent by paying them Housing Benefit directly, with tenants' consent, in return for a fixed reduction
- Major expansion of house building and new 'family friendly' tenancies, which limit annual rent increases, will also help reduce upward pressure on rents
- Planned review the way the Shared Accommodation Rate in Local Housing Allowance is set and review the Broad Rental Market Areas to ensure they fit with realistic travel patterns
- Work with local authorities to tackle fraud an error in a coordinated way especially on Housing Benefit
- At least ten new Garden Cities in England to be created and encourage Local Authorities to follow these principles on a smaller scale, too, developing new garden villages or suburbs as part of their plans for growth
Go to the RTPI Election pages to see more. You can read the full manifesto here
Our 'asks' to the incoming Government have been produced in the RTPI's 10 proposals for planning in the next Parliament.
See the You Tube video, 'In under a minute: Planning in the next Parliament with RTPI's Head of Communications'