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The Conservatives publish their 2015 election manifesto

14 April 2015

The Conservatives published their election manifesto today in Wiltshire.

It included the following commitments:

Planning            

  • Ensure local people have more control over planning
  • Protect the Green Belt and other environmental designations
  • Support locally-led Garden Cities and towns in places where communities want them
  • Prioritise brownfield development, with an aim of ensuring that 90% of suitable brownfield sites have planning permission for housing by 2020
  • Require local authorities to have a brownfield land register
  • Create a new London Land Commission with a mandate to identify and  release all surplus brownfield land owned by the public sector
  • Fund Housing Zones to transform brownfield sites into new housing, creating 95,000 new homes
  • Encourage more neighbourhood planning and strengthen the Community Right to Bid initiative
  • Launch a 'pocket parks' programme
  • Support Business Improvement Districts and other forms of business-led collaborations, giving local traders more say on minor planning applications, cleaning and parking

Housing             

  • Build 200,000 new Starter Homes at 20% below market price, exclusively for first-time buyers under 40.
  • Extend the Right to Buy to Housing Association tenants
  • Fund the replacement of properties sold under the extended Right to Buy by requiring local authorities to manage their housing assets more efficiently, with the most expensive properties sold off and replaced as they fall vacant

Further, in the Q&A session that followed the Prime Minister's speech he said this about the Right to buy policy:

Under this policy, homes would be replaced at both ends. Councils would have to sell off expensive homes, so that would generate the revenue to build more homes. In London there was an example of a council home being sold, and raising enough money to build 12. And housing association homes that are sold will have to be replaced.

  • Create a brownfield regeneration fund
  • Double the number of first-time buyers and help more people own a home
  • At least double the number of custom-built and self-built homes by 2020
  • Take forward a new Right to Build which requires councils to allocate land to local people to build or commission their own home
  • Continue the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee until the start of 2017, extend the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme to at least 2020 to cover another 120,000 homes, and introduce a new Help to Buy ISA
  • Help keep mortgage rates low
  • Raise the inheritance tax threshold for family homes to £1m

For a summary of the planning and built environment policies outlined in the manifesto, click here. To see the full manifesto document click 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'