The Neighbourhood Planning Bill has received Royal Assent before Parliament and became law on 27th April 2017.
The new Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017 has been designed to strengthen neighbourhood planning and provides powers to the government to direct local authorities to prepare joint local plans. It would now also be possible for County Councils to prepare local plans if districts do not have one.
In addition, it comprises powers to restrict the use of certain kinds of planning conditions. One example is pre-commencement conditions imposed by the Local Authority which now require permission from the developer to be enforced.
It is also worth noting that on 28 April 2017, Parliament approved an amendment to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (Amendment) (No2) Order 2017, which ceases permitted development rights for demolition of buildings used as Class A4 ‘drinking establishments’ from 3 May 2017.