Housing & infrastructure

Everybody needs a secure home…

But there’s a shortage of affordable homes and private rents are soaring.

The current planning system is broken, allowing housebuilders to get away with building houses that fail to meet the real need for housing that young people and low income families can afford.

They don’t care about increased traffic, lack of amenities, overcrowded schools and sprawling villages – they’re driven by profit.

Private renters lack security because landlords are able to increase rents as they please and evict tenants if they complain.

There’s a very real housing crisis:

  • Property price to earnings ratio 9.3 (Tendring & Colch 2018)
  • Typical mortgage lender income multiple 4-4.5x
  • Home ownership has become too expensive for too many people
  • Rent increases rising faster than salaries
  • Homelessness is soaring – up by 165% since 2010

The Tories have no answers because they’re on the side of big landlords and house builders.

A Labour government will:

  • Spend £75 billion building 150,000 new council and social homes a year, within five years, to deliver the genuinely affordable homes that people need.
  • End insecurity for private renters by introducing rent controls and more secure tenancies.
  • Reinstate 3,000 bus routes which have been cut.
  • Work to end rough sleeping caused by Tory policies on housing, pay, mental health and social security.

The local housing crisis needs a Local Plan!

Properly planned housing development that takes account of local needs, sufficient school places, medical facilities and adequate roads, etc., is essential for the sustainable future of North Essex.

Unfortunately, much of the development in our towns and villages fails to take account of these crucial factors and continues to do so because the North Essex Authorities of Colchester and Tendring do not have an agreed Local Plan. A Local Plan would take in account the views and needs of local communities and provide the necessary framework with which planning departments could impose controls on developers.

The lack of an agreed Local Plan enables developers to operate within the National Planning Policy Framework – a document that sets out the government’s planning policies for the whole of England, rather than taking account of local needs and priorities. This results in developers building larger, more expensive homes, often built in unsuitable locations, on sites that are frequently overdeveloped for maximum profit.

Towns and villages in North Essex need low cost rented homes and affordable homes so that they are thriving communities and not simply dormitory locations for people migrating from London. Labour wants to see planning policies that work and that are fair. Investment must be made in areas before development of homes takes place and there has to be an urgency about having in place proper Local Plans.

Without a Local Plan the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) does not apply and reliance for planning gain – to supplement the costs of upgrading infrastructure as appropriate – is limited to the meagre offerings of Section 106 payments from developers, a wholly inadequate contribution.

Homes that are built should be zero carbon as current UK housing contributes 65.9m tonnes of CO2 per year which is 18% of the total UK emissions. Labour wants to build home that are environmentally friendly and built in locations that do not ruin our towns and villages.

The Labour Party has carried out a great deal of research on the issues with housing, published in the Green Paper – Housing For The Many

Housing that is infrastructure led, proportionate and sustainable makes sense.

Vote Labour to protect your community from speculative development and to provide the truly affordable housing we need.

The future is ours to make.

It’s time for real change – for the many, not the few.

See the full version of the Labour Party Manifesto for more details.