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Labour’s landslide victory marks a new era for the construction industry and UK growth

The Labour Party’s landslide victory in the 2024 General Election indicates a significant shift in the political landscape, with several key implications for the construction industry. Labour’s manifesto entitled ‘Change’ has a strong emphasis on growth, planning reform, and partnership with businesses, which sets a promising foundation for development for the construction industry under a new Labour Government.  

Labour have achieved a strong mandate to govern, with a large majority in the House of Commons. This grants the Government a huge opportunity to leave a lasting legacy for the UK and cement Sir Keir Starmer as someone who puts country before party politics. 

Labour’s manifesto promises an immediate update to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), 1.5 million homes over the next parliament, restore mandatory housing targets, and ensure local authorities have up to date local plans. These measures are expected to streamline the planning process and reduce delays.  

A commitment from Labour to maintain and renew the road network, embed public and active travel, and launch significant infrastructure projects, such as Great British Energy, could generate new opportunities for construction companies.  

Reforms to procurement rules to better favour SMEs, along with actions on late payments and easier access to capital, would provide much-needed support to SMEs within the construction industry.  

Richard Beresford, Chief Executive of the National Federation of Builders (NFB), said:  

“After the NFB’s decade long commitment to lobbying government for planning reform, Labour’s recognition of the impacts of a broken planning system is encouraging, and its commitment to fixing the planning system and drive growth through strategic reform is a positive step for our industry. If these promises are fulfilled we can look ahead to more homes, better infrastructure, and stronger businesses.” 

Rico Wojtulewicz, Head of Policy and Market Insight at the NFB, said: 

“Although planning reform, infrastructure development, and support for SMEs is welcomed, there is a precedent of such plans facing setbacks. The Labour Party must, therefore, provide reassurance that these reforms will be implemented successfully and without delay. 

The Labour Party manifesto raised some concerns over the lack of specific details on essential policy positions, for example, the grey area around promoting biodiversity and tackling pollution. What the construction industry now needs as we transition to a Labour Government, is clarity, detailed policy plans, and realistic timelines on the outcome of these proposed reforms.  

The Labour Party now has a unique opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to the growth of our industry. Only time will tell how these policy commitments may come into fruition, however the NFB remains dedicated to working hard to collaborate with the Labour Party on policies that will shape the future of the construction industry, ensuring that our sector remains a top priority for the UK’s economic growth and development.” 

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