Labour claims housing industry ‘broken’

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labour will today blame a broken housebuilding industry for the country’s failure to build enough homes.

In plans announced today, Labour will say it would force local authorities to include more small sites in their five-year housing plans and guarantee access to public land for small housebuilders in an effort to shake up the housebuilding industry.

Developers would also have to register the land they own or have an interest in under a Labour government.

Leader Ed Miliband has previously said developers will have to use land they have for building or lose it if Labour wins the next election.

Labour will also reiterate its commitment to building a new generation of new towns and garden cities.

The Conservatives have dismissed the proposals as “top down targets”.

In a speech today. Shadow Housing Minister Emma Reynolds will say: “As currently structured, our country’s building sector has a broken gear stick.

“When the time comes to shift up a gear our housebuilding industry is found wanting.

“Over the past 30 years we have been consistently out-built by our international competitors.

“There is no single reason for this but one of the key factors is that our building sector has become less competitive and this has had serious consequences.”

Housing Minister Kris Hopkins, the Keighley MP, said Labour’s time in office had seen housebuilding plummet.

“House building is now at its highest levels since 2007, and schemes like Help to Buy and the Right to Buy are giving hard-working people a helping hand up the housing ladder.

“Labour just offer the same old recipe of top-down targets which build nothing but resentment, more taxes and more debt.”

Yorkshire is home to leading housebuilder Persimmon Homes, which last week said it anticipates opening another 90 sites in the first half of 2014, on top of the 390 active sites it began the year with, including a number in Yorkshire.