Lib Dems promise more homes, but where will they go?

You could be forgiven for thinking that the launch of the Liberal Democrat manifesto was all about the promise to hold a new EU referendum but, behind the headline-grabbing pledge, it is the housing policies that UK YIMBY has taken most interest in.

First, the good news… the party has committed to building 300,000 homes a year by 2022 if elected – this is in line with what the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee recommended and almost double the current number being built. Furthermore, under a Lib-Dem administration, at least 500,000 affordable and energy-efficient homes would be built by the end of the Parliament.

Ideally, the Lib Dems would like to build 10 new garden cities in England, comprising tens of thousands of high-quality low-carbon homes with shared green space, jobs, schools and public transport. The party is also looking to the long-term and has said that local plans will need to take account of at least 15 years of future housing need.

Which all sounds great. But where will the housing go?

The Lib Dems know from previous experience that planning for housing is contentious. When previous leader, Nick Clegg, pledged to build new garden cities between Oxford and Cambridge, the press office was keen to point out that “The absolutely critical thing to stress is nobody is going to impose these extra houses.” It will be important to provide incentives to encourage support for new homes.

For those who are already motivated to support new homes in their areas, you can take action today.

(Above) Liberal Democrat leader, Tim Farron, outlines his party's manifesto. (Courtesy of BBC)