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What do the election manifestos say about architecture?

Election 2017 graphics 3
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With the election just 10 days away, the AJ looks at what the main parties are proposing for the nation’s built environment

But how will the next government build thousands more homes? And what other policies affecting architects are in the 2017 general election manifestos from the main political parties? Here is a snapshot of the key pledges.


The AJ’s Last Chance Election Survey

We’re polling architects to find out how they will cast their vote – click here to take the survey

Conservative Party

Conservative manifesto

  • Invest in roads to ’open up opportunities for housing and local growth’
  • Meet pledge to deliver 1 million homes by the end of 2020 plus half a million more by 2022
  • Encouraging modern methods of construction
  • Move to support mansion blocks, mews houses and terraced streets, away from tower blocks
  • Help housing associations provide more specialist housing
  • Introduce Council Housing Deals with pro-development local authorities to help them build more social housing
  • Reform compulsory purchase orders to make them easier and less expensive for councils
  • Work with private and public sector house builders to capture the increase in land value created

Labour Party

Labour manifesto

  • Create a £250 billion National Transformation Fund to invest in infrastructure and housing
  • Require firms supplying national or local government to meet labour rights standards, including maximum pay ratios of 20:1
  • Bring private rail companies back into public ownership as franchises expire
  • Build more than a million homes including 100,000 council and housing association houses a year, by the end of the parliament
  • Insulate 4 million homes to cut emissions, save bills and reduce winter deaths
  • Reverse Conservatives’ education cuts and invest in new school buildings
  • Create a new housing ministry
  • Prioritise brownfield development
  • Consult on minimum space standards for new homes
  • Suspend Right to Buy
  • Build Crossrail 2

Liberal Democrats

Lib dem 2017 manifesto front page

  • Housebuilding target of 300,000 a year achieved via a government commissioning programme
  • Set up a government-backed British Housing and Infrastructure Development Bank to provide long term capital
  • Create at least 10 new garden cities in England
  • End extension of Right to Buy to housing association tenants
  • Lift local authority housing borrowing cap and increase borrowing capacity of housing associations
  • Scrap exemptions on planning gain contributions from smaller housing developments
  • Require local plans to cater for 15 years of future housing need
  • Create a community right of appeal against planning approvals which contravene the local plan
  • Penalise excessive land-banking by developers
  • Complete rail link between Oxford and Cambridge to catalyse new homes
  • Focus on improving regional airports rather than expanding airport capacity in the South East
  • Design towns and cities as safe and attractive walking and cycling spaces

Green Party

Greenguaranteepdf 1

  • Introduce rent controls and more secure tenancies for private renters
  • Build 100,000 social rented homes each year by 2022
  • Scrap the Right to Buy
  • Trial a land value tax to encourage the use of vacant land
  • Back community-led approaches to building affordable homes
  • Introduce an Environmental Protection Act to protect the green belt, national parks, SSSIs and areas of outstanding natural beauty
  • Promote a network of new interlinking local ecological spaces
  • Create a new Green Investment and Innovation Centre to replace the UK Green Investment Bank
  • Cancel contracts for Hinkley Point C and scrap plans for all new nuclear power stations, directing investment to renewable energy
  • Embark upon a national programme of insulation and retrofitting
  • Require councils to improve housing choice for disabled and older people and increase the number of homes built to lifetime home and mobility standards
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