Labour’s proposed planning reforms offer the best hope to build the homes we need, says the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, commented: “The current housing crisis won’t be solved unless radical proposals to reform the planning system are put in place. The Labour Party Manifesto contains several exciting proposals, which offer hope for the future of the building industry. The plans to build 1.5 million new homes over the next five years, and the pledge to impose binding house building targets on local councils, are welcome news. Labour’s ‘Grey Belt’ proposals, which sit alongside their Golden Rules for development, offer real hope for seeing small sites for new homes unlocked.”

Berry continued: “Planning reform is a key issue which the FMB has long campaigned for. Earlier this year the FMB launched its own Manifesto, Growth from the ground up, which called on the UK’s political parties to ensure that the National Planning Policy Framework is enforced at the local level, and to see additional funding for local authority planning officers. It is encouraging that the Labour Party have taken these calls on board.”

Berry concluded: “Proposals to establish ‘Skills England’ offer hope to tackle the current skills crisis in the building industry. Pledges to boost apprenticeship numbers as well as Labour’s Warm Home Plan will be a major boost to rolling out retrofitting of homes across Britain. There is, however, potential to go further with the creation a dedicated Housing Department and a Secretary of State for Housing who can attend Cabinet meetings.”