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Policy update from CE National – October 13th 2023

Keir Starmer pledges housing boost at Labour Conference

On Tuesday (10 October), Keir Starmer delivered his leader’s speech at Labour’s annual conference, where he promised to deliver ‘the next generation’ of new towns, along with 1.5 million new homes. Claiming that Labour would ‘bulldoze’ through planning laws if it came into power, Starmer pledged to accelerate building on the ‘grey belt’ – unused urban land which ‘cannot be justified as a reason to hold our future back’. Labour expects the majority of up-front investment in the new towns to come from the private sector, with local areas bidding for new towns required to seek out private backers. Starmer also made a direct appeal to disillusioned Conservative voters, stating he now oversees a ‘changed Labour party, no longer in thrall to gesture politics’.

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero announces funding for schools, hospitals and public buildings to lower energy use

On Tuesday (10 October), The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero announced £230 million is to be made available to schools, hospitals, leisure centres and other public buildings to install energy measures. The opening of this funding coincides with the 3-year anniversary of the scheme which has allocated £2 billion across 1000 buildings. Lord Callanan, Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance commented: ‘We are a world-leader when it comes to reducing carbon emissions – and for us to reach our goal of net zero by 2050, we want to help public bodies like schools and hospitals to do their bit.’

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities launches £2 million advertising campaign encouraging residents to make complaints as part of efforts to improve social housing conditions

On Monday (9 October), The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities announced the ‘Make Things Right’ campaign, which will see adverts run on social media, radio, and online search to inform social housing tenants of their rights and ensure they escalate complaints to the Housing Ombudsman if concerns are not addressed swiftly or appropriately.

 

£60m released to transform brownfield land and build more than 6000 homes

On Monday (9 October), The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities announced a new round of funding for 100 regeneration projects spread out across the country. This funding is the second phase of the £180 million Brownfield Land Release Fund, which is released directly to councils in an effort speed up the release of land and building as soon as possible. Rachel Maclean, Minister for Housing and Planning, commented, ‘We know we need to build more homes, but this cannot come at the expense of concreting over our precious countryside. That is why we are doing all we can to make sure we’re making use of wasteland and unused brownfield land, so we can turn these eyesores into beautiful and thriving communities.’

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