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Category: government and politics

The Conservative party has released its 2024 manifesto, outlining its plan for the future if the party is successful in retaining their position in government. We take a look at details affecting landlords and property developers.

1.6 million homes to be built

The Tories have stated they will build 1.6 million news homes in England over the next parliament (five years) by building on brownfield land and doing away with EU ‘nutrient neutrality’ rules. But, having said that, there have only been 1 million houses built over the last 5 years. Labour are targeting a figure of 1.5 million new homes.

Developers will instead have ‘to pay a one-off mitigation fee so there is no net additional pollution.’

For twenty of the largest cities in England, where new homes projects are planned on previously developed land, planning applications would be ‘fast-tracked’.

Urban regeneration schemes are planned via development corporations in Leeds, Liverpool, York, akin to the party’s ‘Cambridge 2050’ plan, which has ambitions to make the city the “Silicon Valley of Europe”.

Local and smaller builders are to receive support from the Conservatives, by way of a requirement for local councils to set land aside specially for these businesses.

Section 106 agreements, which outline measures a developer must implement to mitigate the impact of their project on the local community, would also be lifted on smaller development projects. The Tories will also not be supporting Labour’s proposed ‘community right to appeal’.

The Conservatives vow to ensure necessary community infrastructure is provided to support new homes through its Infrastructure Levy, first announced on 1th March 2023.

The party also plans to renew the Affordable Homes Programme and protect the Green Belt from ‘uncontrolled development’.

Plans affecting landlords

In the social sector, the Conservatives are cracking down on anti-social behaviour from social housing tenants, stating they will implement a ‘three strikes and you’re out’ expectation, where poor behaviour affecting the local community and neighbours should result in that tenant being evicted.

The Renters Reform Bill appears in the Conservative manifesto, where it is pledged that court reforms will be delivered, ahead of abolishing Section 21 no fault evictions; whilst also strengthening grounds for private landlords to evict tenants for anti-social behaviour.

Whether this would mean that the Renters Reform Bill, that was being shaped prior to the dissolution of parliament, will reappear unchanged is not clear.

For holiday lets, the Tories say they will ‘ensure councils have the powers they need’ to manage what they describe as ‘uncontrolled growth’, referencing that this growth can ‘cause nuisance to local residents and a hollowing out of communities’.

Lastly, the Conservatives have said they would introduce a two-year temporary Capital Gains Tax relief, for landlords who sell to their existing tenants.

Also in housing

The Stamp Duty Land Tax threshold of £425,000, for first time buyers, would be made a permanent change (it was first introduced back in September 2022 and was set to end in March 2025). A new ‘Help to buy’ scheme would also be launched, giving first time buyers a loan of up to 20% of the cost of a new build property.