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  • Gail Collins

The Levelling Up and Regeneration Act

The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill has now become an Act after gaining Royal Assent. The LURA represents significant change to the planning system. Some of its planning provisions will come into effect within the next few months but most will require much further work before implementation.


So, what are some of the priority provisions that will come into effect in the near future? A few of the provisions are set to come forward on 26th December, once the necessary regulations have been made:


Commencement and Completion Notices

The power for local planning authorities to issue commencement and completion notices will come into effect. Councils will be able to decline to determine applications made by a developer that has been slow in implementing previous planning permissions or building them out unreasonably slowly.


Environmental Outcome Reports

These will replace EU-derived environmental impact assessments, sustainability appraisals and strategic environmental assessments. It is suggested that the EOR will “allow decision-makers and local communities to clearly see where a plan or project is meeting these outcomes and what steps are being taken to avoid and mitigate any harm to the environment..”


New Clause 73B

A new clause 73B to the Town and Country Planning 1990 is proposed that would provide a new process for amending the description of development once permission has been granted.

Other notable changes to planning through the LURA will be as follows:

  • The LURA gives the government powers to draw up a suite of national development management policies (NMDPs) that would take precedence over local plan policies and will cover ‘issues that apply in most areas’. The scope of local plans will be limited to ‘locally specific’ matters.

  • Local planning authorities will be required to have a design code in place covering their entire areas.

  • A new ‘infrastructure levy’ will replace S106 planning obligations and the Community Infrastructure Levy, and there will be a new requirement on local authorities to prepare infrastructure delivery strategies.

  • The ‘duty to co-operate’ will be dropped, and time limits prescribed for different stages of plan preparation – however, groups of authorities will also be able to produce voluntary spatial development strategies on specific cross-boundary issues.

  • There will be a new power for planning authorities to quickly create ‘supplementary plans’ for some or all of their areas.

  • A ‘simpler to prepare’ alternative to neighbourhood plans will be introduced.

  • A ‘street votes’ system will permit residents to propose development on their street and hold a vote on whether planning permission should be given.

  • Decision-makers will face a new duty to act in line with the development plan and national policies.

  • ‘Loopholes’ preventing planning enforcement will be closed.

  • The compulsory purchase order system will be changed.

  • Benefit to the public purse will become a factor in authorities’ land allocation decisions.

  • Powers to require developers to engage with communities pre-application will be made permanent.

  • There will be a new duty on councils to grant sufficient permission for self- and custom-build housing and include pre-existing unmet demand for this housing when calculating their current level of demand.

There are a lot of changes coming down the track! Please keep an eye on our ‘News’ page for more updates.





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