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Photograph - Emily Outside Sutton General Hospital Site Earmarked for Housing and School Development

Emily Brothers, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Sutton and Cheam, has heralded sweeping reforms announced by Ed Miliband to tackle the housing crisis. Labour’s plans will help the people of Sutton and Cheam have more of a say over where new homes are built and to ensure that first time buyers from the area are given priority access rights when these houses go on sale.
David Cameron’s Government has presided over the lowest levels of house-building in peacetime since the 1920’s and home ownership has declined to its lowest level in 30 years. By 2020 the average deposit for a home in the UK could be £72,000 and many first-time buyers are seeing their dream of home ownership disappear.
The independent Lyons Housing Report launched today (16/10/14) sets out a comprehensive housing plan – the first of its kind in a generation - to meet Labour’s commitment of building 200,000 homes a year by 2020 and set a course for doubling the number of first-time buyers over the next decade. As part of this, local communities will be given the power to build the homes needed locally in the places people want to live and first time buyers from the area will be able to get priority access rights when these new homes go on sale. Ms Brothers said:
“Too often, people don’t feel that the right kind of homes are getting built in the places they want. Developers seem to be in control rather than local people and the community doesn’t feel that the current housing system works for them. Labour will change that.
“If we are to tackle the housing crisis in our area, people in Sutton and Cheam must be given more say over where the new homes needed locally are built and the power to ensure that first time buyers from the area are given priority access rights when these houses go on sale.
“If plans go ahead for new homes and a secondary school on the current Sutton General Hospital site, it will be paramount for that development to meet the needs of local people.”
Ed Miliband MP, Leader of the Labour Party, said:
“There has been a systematic failure to build the homes our country needs. Too much development land is held as a speculative investment when local people need homes. Too often the trickle of new developments that get completed are snapped up before people from the area can benefit, undermining support for much needed further development.
“Only Labour has a plan to build the homes that our country, our local communities and our families need. As Ed Balls has said, the next Labour government will make housing a bigger priority within the existing capital settlement for the next Parliament. We will get Britain building again by insisting local authorities have a plan to meet the need for housing in their area – and that the big developers play their part rather than hold land back.
“We will also make sure that communities get the benefit from new home development by guaranteeing that where communities take the lead in bringing forward additional developments, a significant proportion of homes on those sites cannot be bought by anyone before first-time buyers from the area have been given the chance.”
Labour is committed to increasing the number of homes built to at least 200,000 a year by 2020 and has set a national goal to double the number of first time buyers by 2025. To meet this goal, Labour is announcing policies to ensure:
• Local communities have the power to build the homes needed in the places people want to live.
Local authorities will be able to designate new ‘Housing Growth Areas’ which will have powers to assemble land and give certainty that building will take place. They will also ensure on larger developments the planning gain that results will in part be used to invest in the schools, roads, green spaces and GP surgeries that make developments possible.
• First time buyers from the area can get priority access rights when these new homes go on sale.
Labour will give the power to local authorities to reserve a proportion of homes built in ‘Housing Growth Areas’, for example 50%, for first-time buyers from the area who will have priority access for a period of two months. In addition, local authorities will be able to restrict the sale of homes in these areas so they cannot be sold for buy-to-let or buy-to-leave empty properties.

The full Lyons Housing Report is available for download here: http://lyonshousingreview.org


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