Rayner Unveils Labour’s New Towns Initiative

Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader, has unveiled her party’s new towns initiative, promising developments with 40% affordable housing and homes delivered within the first term of a Labour government.

The new ‘gold’ standard…

Rayner emphasized that Labour’s new towns would aim for a “gold standard” of 40% social and affordable housing. These towns would feature buildings with character on tree-lined streets, offering access to nature, parks, and play areas. 

Drawing inspiration from the 1945 Labour government’s construction of homes for post-war heroes, Rayner stressed the importance of building new towns “in the right place, in partnership with local people.” To ensure this, Labour plans to establish an independent expert task force to identify suitable sites.

A five year plan

Rayner promised that within a year of taking office, Labour would announce a list of new towns, with the goal of starting construction within months, not decades. The objective is to have homes ready on these new town sites within the first term of a Labour government to align with their commitment in building 1.5 million homes in a five-year government term.

During her speech at the UK’s Real Estate Investment and Infrastructure Forum (UKREiiF) in Leeds, Rayner, also the shadow levelling up secretary, introduced Labour’s New Towns Code. This code requires new housing schemes to have strong connections to town and city centres and be situated near transport and essential public services, such as doctors’ surgeries and schools.

Rayner said: “The reason many local communities resist new homes is often because the housing is of the wrong type, in the wrong place – it doesn’t come with the schools, GP surgeries and green spaces that make communities, not just streets. 

Our next generation of New Towns will build homes fit for the future. Creating places where people want to live. Inspired by garden suburbs like Hale in Manchester, Roundhay in Leeds, and the Garden City project.”

Take a look at Labour’s first steps for change below: