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Labour’s new towns ‘welcome’ but use brownfield first, we say

21st May 2024

Labour’s announcement today of a new generation of new towns is a welcome acknowledgment that much more needs to be done to fix this country’s housing affordability crisis.

Whether we build new towns or expand the places where people already live, work and go to school, we need to do it in a way that provides the homes people need and safeguards our finite countryside at the same time.

First, we should make use of the shovel-ready brownfield sites that our research has shown could accommodate 1.2 million new homes in England alone, followed by other land already allocated for housing. Our local groups in Cambridgeshire and Kent are currently supporting the development of the new towns being built on brownfield sites in Alconbury and Ebbsfleet.

Sustainable extensions to existing settlements also have a role to play. Finally, it’s vital that any new towns have enough green spaces, public transport links, schools and GPs surgeries to make them vibrant and truly livable.

Green Belts and other greenfield land should be protected for future generations, not lost permanently to development. Our countryside is the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe. It isn’t a binary choice between protecting it and building the homes we need – with enough political will, both are possible.

Aerial view of brownfield development in the Wirral
Paul Greenwood / Alamy Stock Photo


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