Sir Keir Starmer, who recently announced that his party is willing to constructing on green belt land, said a Labour government will attempt to bring down housing costs by increasing supply.
The head of Labour claimed that his party would allow localities to erect structures on greenbelts if doing so wouldn’t detract from the natural beauty of the area.
And Sir Keir asserted that if a Labour government can develop more homes, property prices will decrease.
When asked if a Labour administration would see a decline in property prices rather than an increase, Mr. Starmer responded, “Oh, yes.”
“At the moment, one of the reasons that house prices are so high is because people hold land, trying to ensure that it gains as much value as possible,” he said.
The Labour leader added: “Developers and landowners actually have a vested interest in not building so many houses, because that keeps the price high. We want to change that model and make sure that many, many more houses are built – and that the price comes down.”
The Labour leader stated that there should be a conversation about allowing building on the green belt if it serves local requirements before presenting his thoughts on planning, development, and growth to the British Chambers of Commerce.
He gave the example of dwellings being erected on a playing field rather than a parking lot in Maidstone, citing the fact that the parking lot was considered to be in the greenbelt.
“I don’t think anyone who cares about our countryside would think that is a good idea,” Sir Keir said in a statement to BBC Breakfast.
“So what I’m saying is that if we give local areas the power to direct where housing is, even when it is on the greenbelt, if it is a car park rather than a playing field, then I think that protecting the car park and building on the playing field was the wrong choice,” he said.
The Labour leader added: “We would make those tough choices and say to local areas: not withstanding that it is the greenbelt, if it is a car park or similar land which doesn’t effect the beauty of our countryside … then we’ll change the planning rules, we’ll give you the planning powers to do that.”
In response to opposition from dissident Tory MPs and activists, Rishi Sunak was forced to abandon plans for mandatory housebuilding targets; nonetheless, Sir Keir will reiterate his willingness to reinstate local housing targets.
In his speech at Westminster, he will say: “A generation and its hopes are being blocked by those who – more often than not – enjoy the secure homes and jobs that they’re denying to others.”
He will claim that his philosophy of supporting “the builders not the blockers” extends beyond merely the construction of new homes and calls for the expansion of onshore wind farms in England.
Sir Keir Starmer “constantly shapeswitches and moves positions,” according to Tory transport minister Holden. He continued, “Like any good barrister, what we see is Keir Starmer trying to make a different case to a different audience every time he’s got a different case in front of him.”
Lord Frost, a senior Tory, will caution the party today that failure to meet the needs of young people “locked out” of the housing market could result in the party losing its majority.
In his speech at the National Conservativism conference, the former Brexit minister is anticipated to draw attention to the pressures facing young people due to housing shortages and high taxation.
Sir Keir Starmer’s statement that Secretary of Housing Michael Gove’s changes were “broadly right” appears to have prompted Labour to support leveling up his policies.
On Wednesday, lawmakers will hear long-promised proposals to end so-called no-fault evictions. However, the bill will also seek to expand landlords’ authority to evict renters for engaging in anti-social behavior.
Sir Keir told BBC Breakfast: “I actually think what he is saying is broadly right and we would support it.
“Actually, this is a step in the right direction. I do think that having promised it in 2019, they could have done it a bit more quickly but, look, it is right to give renters more security.”
Campaigners have cautioned Mr. Gove not to introduce a “back door” for evictions out of fear that time frames will be shortened if renters are judged to be “irresponsible.” The measure will not place a cap on how frequently landlords can raise rents.