Shadow housing secretary and deputy Labour leader details new policy at UKREiiF event in Leeds

Story updated at 12.05pm

Angela Rayner has announced a 40% affordable housing target on developments delivered through the party’s New Towns policy.

The shadow housing secretary and deputy Labour leader set out more detail about the policy at the UK’s Real Estate Investment and Infrastructure Forum (UKREiiF) event in Leeds today.

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Rayner annouunced developments must meet a ‘New Towns Code’ which will include a target to ensure 40% of homes are for affordable tenures.

This will also include “robust design codes” to ensure developments fit in with nearby housing, along with requirements to ensure an “infrastructure first” approach, green spaces and “fit-for-the-future layouts” with good transport links to towns and city centres.

Rayner said: “Developers who deliver on their obligations to build high quality, well-designed and sustainable affordable housing, with green spaces and transport links and schools and GP surgeries nearby, will experience a new dawn under Labour. But those who have wriggled out of their responsibilities for too long will be robustly held to account.

“Labour’s towns of the future will be built on the foundations of our past. The post-war period taught us that when the government plays a strategic role in housebuilding, we can turbo-charge growth to the benefit of working people across Britain. That is what Labour’s plans will achieve.”

The new towns policy is part of the party’s pledge to build 1.5 million new homes over five years, which would match the current government’s 300,000 homes a year target, which it has not come close to meeting.

>>See also: Starmer pledges to ‘reform housing’ in address to CIH

In a speech to the Chartered Institute of Housing in February, Labour leader Keir Starmer pledged to reform housing as part of a vision for national renewal.

In addition to the 1.5 million homes pledge, the party is pledging to extend Awaab’s law – which requires landlords to investigate hazards within 14 days – to the private sector, along with measures to help people get on the housing ladder, including giving first time buyers priority in local areas and a new government-backed mortgage guarantee scheme. Starmer also confirmed Labour would create a new planning passport for urban brownfield development.

Responding to Rayner’s announcement, Scott Black, chief operating officer at Places for People, said the association “firmly supports Labour’s pledge to turbocharge housebuilding” through the New Towns route. Places for People is planning a 8,500-home new town in east Hertfordshire.

However, he added: ”A more certain and fully funded planning system would prevent schemes – both new and those already in-flight - from getting stuck, allow for infrastructure to be baked in, and enable homes to be built with the urgency required.”