CPRE responds to the Labour party manifesto

21 November 2019

CPRE, the countryside charity, welcomes the ambitious commitments in the Labour Party manifesto which lay out plans to address the housing crisis. CPRE calls for significant investment in genuinely affordable homes in Our Countryside: a manifesto for the next government, published earlier this month.

It’s vital that a fair share of the newly-proposed Social Transformation Fund goes to rural areas. The countryside has often been the poor relation for new social house building; at current build rates, it would take 130 years to provide everyone on rural council waiting lists with a home.[1]

We welcome proposals to use brownfield sites first and to protect the Green Belt. We should certainly build many more new affordable homes, as proposed, but we also want to see guarantees for good design and the wider environment. Labour’s plans must also support an empowered and well-resourced planning system that enables local people to promote the development of the type of houses their communities need.

Crispin Truman, chief executive of CPRE, the countryside charity, said:

‘We all have a right to a home we can afford to live in, wherever we are. But across our countryside, bus drivers, teachers and nurses – the people we need to keep rural areas running, and their families – are too often priced out of this opportunity.

‘It’s important that the next government works to help the countryside thrive, building the homes people need without damaging the environment.

‘Investment in homes that meet genuine community needs, and relating the affordability of new homes more clearly to average incomes, are a clear step in the right direction. CPRE will continue to work with our partners and supporters to hold all parties to account.’

Notes to editors:

[1] 1336 new homes for social rent were built in rural local authorities in 2017/18. MHCLG figures show there were 173,584 households on rural local authority waiting lists for social housing in March 2018.

For further information please call Media Relations Lead, Faith Mall, on 020 7981 2819 / 077 3933 2796.