Labour Party’s New Initiative, Taskforce for New Towns : Rayner

The Labour Party plans to establish a taskforce to identify locations for a new generation of towns, set to be announced within a year if elected, according to deputy leader Angela Rayner.

Speaking at the UKREiiF property conference in Leeds, Rayner revealed that independent experts would be appointed to this taskforce, expected to complete its work within months.

Additionally, Rayner pledged the introduction of a “new towns code” that developers must adhere to in these new settlements, alongside stringent regulations for land released from the greenbelt.

Rayner stated, “We are inspired by the 1945 Labour government, which built homes for heroes after the war. In the spirit of Clement Attlee, our house building approach will be both proactive and strategic.”

Emphasizing quality over quantity, Rayner outlined the criteria for the new towns:

  • 40% of homes to be budget friendly.
  • Buildings with character, reflecting local history and identity.
  • Strong transport links to town and city centers.
  • Guaranteed public services, including doctors’ surgeries and schools.
  • Access to nature, parks, and children play areas.

Rayner noted, “Local communities often resist new homes because they lack the necessary schools, GP surgeries, and green spaces that turn streets into communities.”

She also promised enhanced powers for city and regional mayors to deliver homes, prioritizing brownfield sites. Strict conditions would apply to greenbelt land releases, ensuring affordable homes, new public services, and improved green spaces.

This initiative aligns with party leader Sir Keir Starmer’s commitment to build 1.5 million new homes, as announced at Labour’s annual conference in October.

The Town and Country Planning Association welcomed Labour’s commitment, highlighting the importance of learning from past successes in creating high-quality homes, from Letchworth Garden City to Milton Keynes. Katy Lock, the association’s head of communities, remarked, “It’s vital that we draw lessons from the past to shape future places, reinforcing the UK’s legacy of excellence in homebuilding.”

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