Tuesday 6 July 2021 / 10:30 PM Local Government / Steve Reed

Labour will invite all councils to reject Conservatives’ Developers’ Charter and force planning re-think

Shadow Communities Secretary, Steve Reed MP, will today invite councils to join Labour in forcing a U-turn on the Conservative Government’s planning reforms, dubbed a “Developers’ Charter”.

In a keynote speech to the Local Government Association Conference, Reed will ask all councils, including Conservative-run local authorities, to signal their opposition to the reforms in formal council motions.

Labour is calling for a united front to defeat the Conservatives’ planned Developers’ Charter, which would prevent local residents from objecting to developers’ plans to build slums, eyesores, or any other form of inappropriate new buildings on their streets, in their communities or on treasured public spaces.

Reed will formally launch Labour’s campaign to protect communities’ ability to shape development in their area while increasing the pace of home construction across the country ahead of legislation being introduced to parliament later this year.

Labour also pledges to use parliament in the coming weeks to ensure communities have a say over development in their area and reduce the length of planning permission to stop irresponsible developers “land-banking” instead of building.

It follows the House of Commons passing a motion with the support of all parties to protect communities’ ability to object to individual planning applications, with a host of Conservative MPs previously signalling opposition to the “Developers’ Charter”.

The reforms were reportedly a significant cause of the Conservatives’ recent defeat in the Chesham and Amersham by-election.

Reed will tell the LGA Conference:

“The Conservatives’ plans are a stark example of their impulse to deprive communities of power rather than empower them.

“We know our concerns are shared by councillors of all political parties, so we’re asking councils to make their voices heard.

“If we work together, we can protect the rights of residents to have a say over their own streets and their own local green spaces. All residents are asking for is a voice, not a veto.” On Labour’s plans to speed up housebuilding, Reed will say:

“There’s no doubt we need to build more housing, particularly good quality homes that people can afford to rent or buy.

“But the problem isn’t the planning system – if there’s a problem to be fixed, its incentivising developers to go ahead and develop, rather than sitting on rising land values with a view to selling it on in the future.

“That’s why Labour will bring forward a ‘use it or lose it’ Bill to the House of Commons next week, and challenge the Government to back it.”