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| 1 minute read

The Labour Party promises more homes by creating a 'Grey Belt'

The Labour party has revealed that its policy for housebuilding will be based on a hierarchal approach to the Green Belt, with development being targeted towards ‘low-grade’ or ‘Grey Belt’ areas.

The Grey Belt will include areas of land such as car parks and unused buildings which will be released from the Green Belt for development. 

The Labour party’s plan for developing on these previously protected areas will include:

  • Ensuring at least 50% of the homes built are classified as affordable homes,
  • Boosting infrastructure requirements such as schools and GP surgeries; and 
  • Improving green spaces such as parks and woodlands. 

The Labour Party appear to be responding to calls from the housing and planning sector to review Green Belt policy.  In January 2024 Knight Frank identified over 11,000 Grey Belt sites totalling 13,500 hectares, which the Property Consultancy said could be used for approximately 100,000 family homes.

Changes to Green Belt policy will require amendments to the National Planning Policy Framework which should be relatively straightforward. However, the Government have accused the Labour Party of ignoring the concerns and views of local people; demonstrating how housing continues to be a dividing political issue in the run up to the general election. 

The release of more land for housing development will only be part of a solution to meeting housing demand.  Other long-term commitments which a potential Labour Government would need to consider include:

  • Resourcing local planning authority departments to improve local plan making and processing planning applications more quickly;
  • Stabilising rent settlements and affordable housing programmes to give housing providers certainty on future investments; and
  • Strengthening the role that Build to Rent has in national planning policy.


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