Impact of the New Government

07 July 2024

Manifesto statements on Planning, Energy and Environment.

As a new Labour government takes charge, it is worth looking at the Labour Manifesto as to how the new government might affect the bult environment and natural environment of Guildford Borough.  Obviously, any Political Manifesto has to be treated with care, and often they contain a large amount of point scoring versus political opponents. 

Ther Manifesto does have points of interest, a selection of these are identified below, for you to consider.  Until the detail comes forward either as Executive Orders, which may happen for Housing Numbers, or as revised Policies and Bills it is difficult to make final judgments. 

NOTE No comparison has been made between manifestos this is purely a look at what the Labour government appears to be seeking to implement. 

The page numbers relate to the Labour Manifesto which can be accessed below – warning it is 133 pages long.

Economic infrastructure (Page 31)

  • National policy to make major projects faster and cheaper by slashing red tape, and build support for developments by ensuring communities directly benefit.
  • Update national planning policy to ensure the planning system meets the needs of a modern economy, making it easier to build laboratories, digital infrastructure, and gigafactories.

Modern Transport Network (Page 33)

  • A restoration of the 2030 date to switch to only electric cars on sale.
  • New powers for local authorities to control their local bus systems via franchising routes.
  • A push for greater integration of Travel modes and encouragement of Active Travel.

Get Britain building again (Page 36)

  • Restoring mandatory housing targets.
  • Local planning authorities must have up-to date Local Plans and reform and strengthen the presumption in favour of sustainable development.
  • The Government will support local authorities by funding additional planning officers.
  • Yet another update on the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)
  • Strategic View of the Greenbelt supported by ‘Golden Rules’ to ensure development on the Greenbelt benefits communities and Nature. 
  • Requirement for all Combined and Mayoral  Authorities to strategically plan for housing growth in their areas.  
  • Combined Authorities will have new planning powers along with new freedoms and flexibilities to make better use of grant funding.  (Will this reignite the debate about Surrey becoming a combined authority)
  • Prioritise the building of new social rented homes and better protect our existing stock by reviewing the increased right to buy discounts introduced in 2012 and increasing protections on newly-built social housing.
  • Commitment that exemplary development will be the norm, ensuring we are building more high-quality, well-designed, and sustainable homes and creating places that increase climate resilience and promote nature recovery.
  • Implement solutions to unlock the building of homes affected by nutrient neutrality without weakening environmental protections.

Economic growth across the country (Page40)

  • Transfer power out of Westminster, and into our communities, with landmark devolution legislation.
  • In England, more extensive devolution settlements for existing Combined Authorities. Widen devolution to more areas, encouraging local authorities to come together and take on new powers.
  • Local areas will be able to gain new powers over transport, adult education and skills, housing and planning, and employment support.
  • A new statutory requirement for Local Growth Plans that cover towns and cities across the country. Local leaders will work with major employers, universities, colleges, and industry bodies to produce long-term plans that identify growth sectors and put in place the programmes and infrastructure they need to thrive.
  • A review of the governance arrangements for Combined Authorities to unblock decision making. Provide greater flexibility with integrated settlements for Mayoral Combined Authorities that can show exemplary management of public money. On housing and planning desire to consolidate powers to allow for improved decision making.
  • Councils will be given multi-year funding settlements and end wasteful competitive bidding.
  • Overhaul of the local audit system, so taxpayers get better value for money.

Clean power by 2030 (Page51)

  • By 2030 double onshore wind, triple solar power, and quadruple offshore wind by 2030.
  • Pass a new Energy Independence Act to establish the framework for energy and climate policies.
  • New nuclear power stations, such as Sizewell C, and Small Modular Reactors, will play an important role.

Energy system reform (Page 54)

  • Tougher system of regulation to ensure it can hold companies to account for wrongdoing, require higher standards of performance
  • National Grid has become the single biggest obstacle to the deployment of cheap, clean power generation; due to grid connection dates not being offered until the late 2030s.  The government will work with industry to upgrade our national transmission infrastructure.

Warm homes plan (Page 56)

  • Invest an extra £6.6 billion over the next parliament, doubling the existing planned government investment, to upgrade five million homes to cut bills.
  • Homes in the private rented sector meet minimum energy efficiency standards by 2030.

Protecting nature (Page 58)

  • Action to deliver to meet our Environment Act targets
  • Create nine new National River Walks, one in each region of England.
  • Establish three new National Forests in England.
  • Plant millions of trees and creating new woodlands.
  • Commitment to reducing waste by moving to a circular economy.


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