Well who could have planned for this outcome!
The Conservative Party’s Manifesto ‘Get Brexit Done – Unleash Britain’s Potential’ has interesting implications for the planning and development industry. Aside from its commitment to delivering Brexit, the Conservatives propose further devolution and investment in transport and planning and have stated support for the ‘Crossrail for the North’ but did not fully commit to HS2, which they intend to review. They proposed to bring forward a Social Housing White Paper, which will set out measures to empower tenants and support the continued supply of social homes. They also committed to renewing the Affordable Homes Programme to support the delivery of thousands of new affordable homes.
The Manifesto also contained the standard comment around home ownership. The policy of a multi-tenure approach to housebuilding is set to continue. However, the Manifesto advocated little to no change on issues like Green Belt protection and support for specific infrastructure projects.
The Manifesto included two key planning policy pledges, including the “beauty” agenda and the accelerated White Paper. The Conservative Government pledged to ask individual communities to decide on their own design standards for new development, allowing residents a voice on the design of development in their area. How this will fit with extant policy or its status is however not set out. Secondly, the White Paper was trailed as containing proposals to speed up and “simplify” the planning process (again) by relaxing some rules, cutting conditions and improving resources for local authorities. The plans for the White Paper are to be released next year.
The Conservative Party sought to set a strong message on environmental issues and have also committed to reducing carbon to net zero by 2050.
How this will all play out, and the ‘shape of the new team’ will become clearer in the next few months, but the concentration will remain on ‘getting Brexit done’