Labour manifesto 2024: Pledge to protect greenbelt despite new housing drive

Credit: 1000 Words/

Labour has vowed to preserve England’s green belt zones in its election manifesto – despite promises for a big push on housebuilding if elected.

The party claims to support a “more strategic approach” to the green belt amid its plans to build more than a million new homes.

Green belt zones put stringent planning restrictions in place to prevent the spread of towns and cities into the countryside.

The manifesto reads: “Labour is committed to preserving the green belt which has served England’s towns and cities well over many decades.

READ MORE: Labour manifesto launch: Live updates, reaction and analysis

“Under the Conservatives, greenbelt land is regularly released for development but haphazardly and often for speculative housebuilding.”

The party’s more cautious comments on the green belt are likely to disappoint many activists calling for a more extensive rethink of Britain’s planning laws.

However, the party’s manifesto still makes clear its ambitions for housebuilding targets over the next five years.

READ MORE: Labour unveils new housing policy with ‘Freedom to Buy’ scheme offering permanent mortgage guarantees

The manifesto reads: “Labour will take a brownfield first approach, prioritising the development of previously used land wherever possible, and fast-tracking approval of urban brownfield sites. But brownfield development alone will not be enough to meet our housing need.”

Labour is promising to “get Britain building again” with a vow to build 1.5 million new homes over the course of the next parliament.

It is also pledging to help first-time homebuyers with a permanent mortgage guarantee scheme.

Find out more through our wider 2024 Labour party manifesto coverage so far:

READ MORE: Labour manifesto launch: Live updates, reaction and analysis

READ MORE: Full manifesto costs breakdown – and how tax and borrowing fund it

READ MORE: The key manifesto policy priorities in brief

READ MORE: Labour vows to protect green belt despite housebuilding drive

READ MORE: Watch as Starmer heckled by protestor inside with ‘youth deserve better’ banner

READ MORE: GMB calls manifesto ‘vision of hope’ but Unite says ‘not enough’

READ MORE: Manifesto commits to Brexit and being ‘confident’ outside EU

READ MORE: Labour to legislate on New Deal for Working People within 100 days – key policies breakdown 

READ MORE: Labour to give 16-year-olds right to vote

READ MORE: Starmer says ‘manifesto for wealth creation’ will kickstart growth

READ MORE: Dodds: ‘Our manifesto is a fully funded vision, while Tories offer a Christmas tree of gimmicks’

READ MORE: IFS: Labour manifesto doesn’t raise enough cash to fund ‘genuine change’

READ MORE: ‘Labour’s manifesto is one the party can promote with confidence’

Read more of our 2024 general election coverage here.

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