The Conservative Party has released its 2019 General Election manifesto and, significantly, announced it will support the self build industry.
The Conservative Party is the only major political party to directly reference the self build industry ahead of the 12 December vote. Sunday’s launch of the Conservatives’ General Election 2019 manifesto came after Labour and the Liberal Democrats made bold pledges to introduce a new zero-carbon homes standard for all new homes.
But the Conservatives’ manifesto has particular pertinence for self builders, pledging to “support community housing by helping people who want to build their own homes find plots of land”. Following Right to Build Day last month, the Conservatives appear to have strengthened its resolve towards delivering plots for self builders and custom builders.
The Tories will also help first-time self builders access the Help to Buy scheme using 5% deposit mortgages.
While the details behind the Conservatives’ pledges remain to be fleshed out, the reference to the self build industry is significant for the sector and very welcome to see.
What Else Did The Conservatives Pledge?
Like Labour and the Lib Dems, the Conservatives’ manifesto includes an ambition to build environmentally-friendly homes.
“We will support the creation of new kinds of homes that have low energy bills and which support our environmental targets and will expect all new streets to be lined with trees,” the manifesto says.
Boris Johnson’s party will also champion innovative design and technology to make housing more affordable, although the specifics behind this plan have not been included.
And the Conservatives will make the planning system simpler for the public and small builders – although it is not clear if this will lead to the purported amends to Permitted Development rights that we reported on in October.
Moving Forward? Or Doubling Down?
One criticism that the Conservative Party has faced regularly in recent months is its failure to progress towards its target of building 300,000 homes a year. Not to be deterred, the Conservative Party emphasised in its manifesto bid to continue with this plan, which will reportedly lead to at least a million more homes over the next Parliament.
The Conservatives will also:
- Offer more homes to local families who cannot afford to buy in their area (achieved through discounting homes in perpetuity by a third using developers’ contributions)
- Maintain its commitment for Right to Buy for all council tenants
- Extend the Help to Buy scheme from 2021 to 2023
Homebuilding.co.uk will be following all the major political parties’ homebuilding pledges ahead of the 2019 General Election and reviewing their impact for self builders, renovators and home improvers. Last week we analysed Labour’s promises for the homebuilding sector.