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Will Labour be the Party to Put an End to Planning Uncertainty?

National Federation of Builders | National Federation of Builders | National Federation of Builders

2 min read Partner content

The Labour Party has announced that they will be bringing forward ‘grey belt’ classifications on some green belt sites that are appropriate for release or not green, and instilling ‘Golden Rules’ alongside them to secure planning certainty and good placemaking.

Richard Beresford, Chief Executive of the National Federation of Builders (NFB), said: “Prioritising grey belt and pairing it with golden rules would ensure greenspace loss is mitigated, vital supporting infrastructure is delivered and both builders and local people getting planning and placemaking certainty. It’s a win for all parties which is why we support it.”

Labour’s five ‘Golden Rules’ are:

  • Brownfield first
  • ⁠Grey belt second
  • Affordable homes
  • Boost public services and infrastructure
  • Protect genuine green space

The focus will be on ensuring grey belt sites deliver as many community benefits as possible, such as schools and GP surgeries, with local leaders, rather than only quangos, deciding what is needed.

Affordable housing targets will be strengthened, and developments should serve to increase access to nature, so that housebuilding and nature are compatible.

Rico Wojtulewicz, Head of Policy, and Market Insight at the NFB and House Builders Association (HBA), said:

 “The devil will always be in the detail, but Labour appears to understand that placemaking requires input and support from all quarters and that the housebuilder’s job is to build the homes, not control what infrastructure is required, how offsite nature links up to a new development and why a site is allocated for new homes.

A grey belt also suggests some greenbelt reassessment, something even Conservative backbenchers have been calling for, but the Government keeps dismissing.

Alongside other announcements and discussions, such as reforming compulsory purchase and having more onsite biodiversity opportunities, it feels as though we have a political party which understands the problems planning uncertainty causes for housebuilders, communities, nature, and society at large.”


Notes to editors:

  • Rico Wojtulewicz is available for interview in conjunction with this written piece, for more information please get in touch.
  • NFB is the longest standing and most representative construction trade body representing over 1,000 members with 28,500 employees with a combined turnover of over £8bn (FY 2023)
  • The NFB represents builders, contractors and house builders across England and Wales. Founded in 1896, its members range from the sole traders to large, billion-pound construction companies, with turnover ranging from below £500,000 to £1.1 billion. The NFB provides advice, training, and business services to ensure members stay up to date.
  • The NFB campaigns on the issues that affect the construction industry such as procurement, skills, sustainability, and funding. It represents the industry to government and industry forums and is an active media commentator and policy influencer.
  • For further information please contact the NFB press office on

Read the most recent article written by National Federation of Builders - GDP figures show the need for planning reform


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