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Latest 09 July 2024

We kept up the pressure. Here are two things Labour is set to change.

New chancellor Rachel Reeves promises changes on onshore wind and housing. We’re making sure the new government keeps its promise.

 

Following last week’s general election, Labour has moved quickly and positively on a couple of key issues that we’d launched legal campaigns about as a way of applying pressure on the previous government. Ministers have pledged to review controversial planning laws for housing. And the “absurd” ban on onshore wind will end.

Ever since David Cameron changed planning rules in 2015, the Tories have been standing in the way of onshore wind – one of the cheapest forms of clean, green energy and a vital technology to hit net zero. We’ve been arguing that the government must make it a core part of our national energy infrastructure. Ed Miliband promised last week to reverse the senseless Tory ban and Rachel Reeves has said this week Labour will go further on “bringing onshore wind back” into the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects regime.

When Michael Gove took away the power of local authorities to improve efficiency standards for new homes built in their areas, we argued that this was a massive overreach of central government power. Last week, the High Court sided with developers who put profit over the planet. New chancellor Rachel Reeves yesterday promised updates to National Policy Statements within the year. This could be an opportunity to put power back in the hands of local communities to build homes fit for the future. We’ll be keeping up the pressure.

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According to Jennine Walker, interim head of legal at Good Law Project these changes are a “really encouraging first step from Labour on green issues, and are great news for the planet and for local communities.”

“We’ve supported legal action against the previous government on planning laws and onshore wind. And we’ll continue to make sure this new government keeps its promise to turn around Tory failures,” Walker said.

These are promising developments, but we won’t let the pressure off just like that. Labour must deliver on these promises. We are taking legal advice as to the implications for our cases.

And there’s plenty more work to do. Coming up with a plan to hit net zero that’s fit for purpose, recovering the billions the Tories wasted on useless PPE and reversing the cruel ban on puberty blockers would be good places to start.