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Last Updated: Monday, 1 October 2007, 11:06 GMT 12:06 UK
Conservatives to scrap home packs
People looking at a home
The Conservatives say they would scrap Home Information Packs, end "garden grabbing" by developers and cut stamp duty if they won a general election.

Shadow housing minister Grant Shapps told the Tory conference that ministers had ignored warnings about home packs.

He said: "The experts ridiculed them. The industry doesn't want them... and I can announce that the next Conservative government will scrap them."

He said they would also axe stamp duty for 9 out of 10 first time buyers.

We'll change planning rules to recognise that Brownfield does not mean your neighbours' garden
Grant Shapps

This would be achieved by scrapping the duty on purchases of homes up to £250,000 by first time buyers.

Mr Shapps said that the home packs, which anyone selling homes with three bedrooms or more now needs to get, were clumsy and ineffective - and had not streamlined the house buying process as the government had hoped.

In a policy heavy speech he also promised a Conservative government would seek to widen home ownership by bringing in a scheme to "reward five years of good tenant behaviour" by giving people an equity share in their own social housing.

On planning he accused Labour of seeing "ordinary people as an irritant... local communities as a problem... and their grand Whitehall masterplan as the solution".

The Conservatives would "bring power back to local people" and "scrap the government's flawed density targets which force people to live on top of one another".

He added: "And I know that you share my concern over the practice of 'garden grabbing', so we'll change planning rules to recognise that Brownfield does not mean your neighbours' garden."


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