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'Generation of new towns' to be built if Labour win election - Angela Rayner

A ‘generation of new towns’ that are modelled on Hale will be built if Labour wins the next election, according Angela Rayner.

The party’s deputy leader was setting out her party’s plans at the UK Real Estate, Investment, & Infrastructure Forum in Leeds on Tuesday (May 21). The Ashton-under-Lyne MP said the mission to get building ‘will unleash the biggest wave of affordable and social housing in a generation’ in an effort to combat the consequences of the housing crisis.

To achieve that, Labour will embark on a huge programme of building new towns — akin to the post-war boom — in ‘the right locations’ because ‘what works in Stockton might not work in Southampton’, she added.

And after establishing ‘an expert independent task force’ to select ‘the right locations’ for the new towns within 12 months of Keir Starmer coming to office, the MP promised the settlements will be ‘inspired’ by Greater Manchester’s swankiest suburb.

“Our next generation of new towns will build homes fit for the future, inspired by the garden suburbs like Roundhay in Leeds or Hale in Manchester,” Ms Rayner told the conference.

“We will set out a new towns code [with] more social and affordable homes with a gold standard of 40 percent target. [There will be] good links to town and city centres with public transport to schools and GP surgeries, and access to nature.”

The Shadow Housing Minister added that the government will work with regional mayors, like Andy Burnham, in establishing ‘beautiful new settlements’. That would be opposed to the centralised approach of previous new town construction seen in the 1960s, where Whitehall selected locations for new towns, like Milton Keynes, to be developed.

Alongside the house building programme, Ms Rayner reaffirmed Labour’s commitment to banning section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions in rental properties. She also promised a ‘root and branch reform’ of the ‘mediaeval’ leasehold system, plus ‘first dibs’ for first-time buyers ‘on new developments in their communities, with a comprehensive mortgage guarantee scheme for those who don’t have access to the bank of mum and dad. ‘

“This is Labour’s plan to get the country its future back,” she said of those pledges.

Her speech came a week after Sir Keir Starmer set out his ‘first steps’ for a Labour government. Although housing was not explicitly mentioned in the pledge card, the Labour leader said this would feed into the party’s commitment to create economic stability.

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