General Election Briefing 2024 | #3 | Manifestos

Over the past week, the political landscape has been bustling with activity as parties unveiled their manifestos, providing us with a clearer picture of their plans and priorities.

As we approach the general election, we have asked Deetu Senior Engagement Specialist Mark Cawdrey to share a weekly update on what each party is talking about and how it affects the built environment.


Welcome to this week’s General Election Briefing. Over the past week, the political landscape has been bustling with activity as parties unveiled their manifestos, providing us with a clearer picture of their plans and priorities. With the Sky News Leader Interviews dominating the headlines and the latest YouGov poll revealing a surprising shift in voter sentiment, it’s evident that the election race is heating up. In this briefing, we’ll dive into how the major parties’ manifestos could impact key areas relevant to the built environment, including housing, planning, infrastructure, skills, net-zero targets, water, and economic growth.

Apparent poor Conservative polling results have resulted in a cross-over point between the Conservatives and Reform, with a YouGov poll from 13 June putting Reform 1 point ahead. This would still only result in one or two Reform MPs. But, if the trend is not reversed, it could lead to the Conservatives winning so few seats that the Lib Dems would become the official opposition.

113 June YouGov Poll translated in Electorial Calculator

Key Issues and Impact on the Industry


The Liberal Democrat, Conservative, Green, and Labour manifestos were launched this week. Below, we look at how each could impact the key built environment areas.


ConservativesLabourLiberal Democrats
Permanently increase the threshold at which first-time buyers pay Stamp Duty to £425,000 from £300,000.Re-instate mandatory housebuilding targets for local authorities.Increasing building of new homes to 380,000 a year across the UK, including 150,000 social homes a year, through new garden cities and community-led development of cities and towns.
Launch a new Help to Buy scheme, providing first-time buyers with an equity loan of up to 20% towards the cost of a new-build home.Aim to build 1.5 million homes over the next parliament.Delivering a fair deal for renters by immediately banning no-fault evictions, making three-year tenancies the default, and creating a national register of licensed landlords.
Deliver 1.6 million well-designed homes over the course of the parliament.Build new towns with a minimum of 40% affordable housing using design codes.Giving local authorities, including National Park Authorities, the powers to end Right to Buy in their areas.
Renew the affordable homes programme.Provide 150,000 social and affordable homes a year.Ending rough sleeping within the next Parliament and immediately scrapping the archaic Vagrancy Act.
Retain a “cast-iron commitment to protect the Green Belt.”Implement a ‘Freedom to Buy’ policy to help 80,000 people get on the housing ladder.Abolishing residential leaseholds and capping ground rents to a nominal fee, so that everyone has control over their property.
Abolish ‘nutrient neutrality’ rules to unlock the building of 100,000 new homes.A ‘First Dibs’ policy giving local people first refusal on homes in new developments.
Require councils to set aside land for smaller builders and lift Section 106 burdens on smaller sites.Changes to the Affordable Homes Programme to deliver more homes from existing funding.
Create locally-led urban development corporations for brownfield regeneration.Invest an extra £6.6bn as part of its Warm Homes Plan to upgrade five million homes.


ConservativesLabourLiberal Democrats
Restrictions on time extension agreements between councils and applicants on planning decisions.Design standards for “gentle urban development.”Expand neighbourhood planning across England and allow councils to buy land at current value rather than hope-value basis.
Performance league tables for the time taken to make planning decisions.Planning passports for developers meeting design standards, allowing easier brownfield development.Reform planning rules to update the National Policy Planning Framework with a target to build 1.9 million new homes.
Create new ‘grey belt’ land class for poor-quality areas of the green belt.Prioritise the release of lower-quality ‘grey belt’ land.Developers who ‘refuse to build’ would face use-it-or-lose-it planning permission.
Amend the law to make it difficult for people to bring judicial reviews against planned projects.Reform planning for onshore wind to boost renewable energy projects.


ConservativesLabourLiberal Democrats
£36 billion from HS2 savings reinvested into North and Midlands rail infrastructure.
Fully committed to Northern Powerhouse Rail.Fully committed to Northern Powerhouse Rail.
£12 billion for North Powerhouse Rail between Liverpool and Manchester.Independent inquiry into HS2 to avoid future cost overruns.Establish a new public Railway Agency.
New plan for London Euston to free up £6.5 billion for rail infrastructure across the UK.Merge the National Infrastructure Commission and Infrastructure and Projects Authority into the National Infrastructure and Service Transformation Authority (NISTA).Create new cycling and walking networks.
£1 billion to electrify North Wales Main Line.Update national planning policy for laboratories, digital infrastructure, and gigafactories.Deliver nationwide active travel strategy.
Rail network upgrades in South West, Cumbria, and East Anglia.Maintain and renew the road network, embedding public and active travel.Support local and regional economic partnerships.
£1.75 billion to fund Midlands Rail Hub.
Improved accessibility at 100 stations.

Skills & Training

ConservativesLabourLiberal Democrats
Proposed ‘Advanced British Standard’ to replace A levels and T levels.Revamped apprenticeship levy to fund specialist training colleges.Revamped apprenticeship levy to fund specialist training colleges.
An additional 100,000 apprenticeships funded annually by scrapping poor-quality university courses.Transform Further Education colleges into specialist Technical Excellence Colleges.Transform Further Education colleges into specialist Technical Excellence Colleges.
Firms can use apprenticeship funds to train existing staff or pay for pre-apprenticeship training.Support SMEs by taking action on late payments and providing easier access to capital.Support SMEs by taking action on late payments and providing easier access to capital.
New immigration laws requiring government departments to draw up skills improvement plans.

Net Zero

ConservativesLabourLiberal Democrats
Remain committed to delivering net zero by 2050.Invest £15bn annually in green initiatives.A target to reach net-zero by 2045 with 90% of power generation via renewables by 2030.
Annual licensing rounds for oil and gas production, new gas power stations, Great British nuclear.Upgrade five million homes to an EPC C rating.Government funding to install insulation and heat pumps.
Treble offshore wind capacity.Establish Great British Energy to decarbonise UK power by 2030.More incentives for homeowners to install rooftop solar.
Invest £1.1 billion into the Green Industries Growth Accelerator.Targets for faster approvals on renewable projects.A Net-Zero delivery authority to coordinate Government actions to combat climate change.
Build the first two carbon capture and storage clusters.Double onshore wind, triple solar, and quadruple offshore wind by 2030.


ConservativesLabourLiberal Democrats
Work with the regulator to hold water companies accountable further.Will put failing water companies under ‘special measures’ to clean up water.Implement a sewage tax on water company profits.
Reform the ‘price review’ regulatory process for water companies, further strengthening sanctions for companies that fail to deliver for the public, coasts, and rivers.Give regulators new powers, including criminal prosecution, to block bonuses to executives who pollute waterways.Embrace nature-based solutions for sewage.
Forge ahead with new reservoirs.Fund local planning departments to ensure new housing mitigates flood risks.

Economic Growth

ConservativesLabourLiberal Democrats
Focus on integrated procurement models following the Procurement Act and prompt payment around for SMEs.Establish an Industrial Strategy Council.Launch an ambitious industrial strategy to incentivise job creation across the UK.
Investment in infrastructure projects to spur economic growth, focusing on rail and regional development.Create a £7.3bn National Wealth Fund to support growth and clean energy missions.Support local and regional economic partnerships.
Develop a 10-year infrastructure strategy.Rejoin the EU Single Market.


ConservativesLabourLiberal Democrats
Annual licensing rounds for oil and gas production, new gas power stations, Great British nuclear.Establish Great British Energy to decarbonise UK power by 2030.Make Britain a world leader in new infrastructure, businesses, and technologies needed to tackle climate change.
Treble offshore wind capacity.Invest £15bn annually in green initiatives.Remove onshore wind restrictions.
Invest £1.1 billion into the Green Industries Growth Accelerator.Double onshore wind, triple solar, and quadruple offshore wind by 2030.Put tackling climate change at the heart of a new industrial strategy.
Build the first two carbon capture and storage clusters.Invest in education and training for the skills needed for the low-carbon economy.

Nature & Biodiversity

ConservativesLabourLiberal Democrats
Launch a new design competition for urban greening.Broad pledge to “improve access to nature, promote biodiversity, and protect our landscapes and wildlife.”Strengthen the Office for Environmental Protection and provide more funding to the Environment Agency and Natural England.
Introduce reforms to outdated EU red tape to better protect nature while enabling the building of new homes, new prisons, and new energy schemes.Expand nature-rich habitats such as wetlands, peat bogs, and forests.Ensure new developments result in a significant net gain for biodiversity.
Commitment for everyone to have access to nature within a 15-minute walk of where they live.Deliver for nature, taking action to meet the Environment Act targets.Protect at least 30% of land and sea areas by 2030 for nature’s recovery.
Create nine new National River Walks, one in each region of England, and establish three new National Forests.Require large businesses to publish transition plans to become nature-positive.


The release of the party manifestos marks a pivotal moment in this election cycle, offering a comprehensive look at each party’s vision for the future. As the polling landscape continues to shift, with potential surprises on the horizon, staying informed and prepared is crucial.

The policies outlined in these manifestos will significantly influence our industry, shaping the regulatory and economic environment in which we operate.

For detailed insights and a deeper understanding of how these policies could affect your development plan reach out to us for a more personalised discussion.