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New Planning Bill to help deliver one million new homes

The Queen’s Speech on 18 May announced that “to support the economic recovery, and to create jobs and more apprenticeships, legislation will be introduced to ensure Britain has the infrastructure that businesses need to grow”. This would be delivered via a new Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill.

The purpose of this Bill is to:

  • Support the Government’s ambition to deliver one million new homes, whilst protecting the areas we most value including the Green Belt.
  • Deliver the homes and infrastructure that the country needs.
  • Transform the way we plan for major infrastructure projects in the country.

The key elements of the Bill include:

Neighbourhood Planning

  • To further strengthen neighbourhood planning and give even more power to local people.
  • The new legislation would also strengthen neighbourhood planning by making the local government duty to support groups more transparent and by improving the process for reviewing and updating plans.

Planning Conditions

  • Seek to reduce the use of unnecessary planning conditions which slow down the delivery of development including the use of pre-commencement conditions where only absolutely necessary.
  • The new legislation would tackle the overuse, and in some cases, misuse of certain planning conditions, and thereby ensure that development, including new housing, can get underway without unnecessary delay.

Compulsory Purchase

  • To make the compulsory purchase order process clearer, fairer and faster for all those involved including reform of the context within which compensation is negotiated – often a very significant and complex part of finalising a compulsory purchase deal.
  • This would be delivered through consolidation and clarification of stature and case law and a new statutory framework for agreeing compensation, based on the fundamental principle that compensation should be based on the market value of the land in the absence of the scheme underlying the compulsory purchase.

National Infrastructure Commission

  • The infrastructure elements include to establish the independent National Infrastructure Commission on a statutory basis.
  • The Commission would provide the government with expert, independent advice on infrastructure issues by setting out a clear, strategic vision on the future infrastructure that is needed to ensure the UK economy is fit for 2050.
  • To unlock economic potential across the UK and ensure that growth and opportunities are distributed across the country, boosting productivity and competitiveness through high-quality infrastructure.

Devolution

  • The Bill’s substantive provisions apply across England and Wales. The measure relating to the National Infrastructure Commission would apply across the UK in line with current infrastructure decision-making responsibilities.

Key facts: 

  • We’ve already seen a revolution in neighbourhood planning, with 193 neighbourhood plans approved at referendum and nearly 2,000 groups involved, covering around ten million people.
  • Plans for housebuilding are more than 10% higher in the first areas with a neighbourhood plan as opposed to only the council’s Local Plan

Contact: Sara Parkinson, sparkinson@londonfirst.co.uk

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