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The main parties have now launched their manifestos ahead of the General Election on 7th May. We bring you the main points from each one relating to a key part of our own manifesto – rural communities and housing. Read our own manifesto chapter on rural communities here. 



  • Build 200,000 new Starter Homes exclusively for first time buyers
  • Extend the Help to Buy Equity Loan Scheme to 2020 and introduce a new Help to Buy ISA to support people saving for a deposit
  • Ensure local people have more control over planning and protect the Green Belt
  • Support locally-led garden cities and towns where communities want them such as Ebbsfleet and Bicester
  • Establish Coastal Communities Fund to help boost skills and create jobs in seaside areas
  • Build 1,400 new flood defences to protect 300,000 homes
  • Allow councils to tackle small- scale fly-tipping through Fixed Penalties rather than costly prosecutions


  • Scrap the Government’s Help to Buy Scheme
  • Reduce VAT on housing renovation and repair work to 5%
  • Increase the social housing budget from £1.5 to £6 billion to provide 500,000 social rented homes
  • Reform private rented sector including the introduction of five-year fixed term tenancy agreements


  • Introduce greater transparency in the land market and give councils new ‘use it or lose it’ powers to encourage developers to build as soon as planning consent is granted
  • Build a new generation of garden cities
  • Prioritise investment in flood prevention
  • Promote access to green spaces in local planning

Lib Dem

  • Build at least 10 new garden cities including five major settlements along a new railway line between Oxford and Cambridge
  • Review compulsory purchase legislation and pilot techniques for capturing the increase in land values from the granting of planning consent for garden cities
  • Enable councils to levy up to 200% Council Tax on second homes
  • Introduce Nature Act with ‘fuller’ Right to Roam legislation and a new designation of National Nature Park to protect up to 1 million acres of accessible green space
  • Set up a commission to research back-to-nature flood prevention schemes and introduce high standards for flood resilience for buildings and infrastructure in flood risk areas
  • Increase the rate of house building to 300,000 a year


  • Replace the National Planning Policy Framework and introduce new national planning guidelines prioritising brownfield sites for housing development and strengthening protection of the Green Belt
  • Aim to build 1 million homes on brownfield sites by 2025
  • Not allow housing on prime agricultural land
  • Remove government imposed targets on councils for house building
  • Promote smaller 6-12 unit developments in rural areas to extend existing villages
  • Remove VAT on repair work to listed buildings