Localism bill - local choice and control

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Localism bill - local choice and control

January 2011

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After some delay the Localism Bill was published on 14 December 2010. The headlines of the Bill which affect the planning world include:

Abolition of the Regional Strategies


The primary legislation which set the basis for Regional Strategies has been removed.


Changes to the Community Infrastructure Levy


The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) allows local authorities to set charges which developers must pay when bringing forward new development in order to contribute to new infrastructure. The Bill introduces three changes to CIL:
 
  • Provisions to make regulations requiring some of the funds to be passed to neighbours where development has taken place.
  • Clarity that funds can be spent on the ongoing costs of infrastructure, as well as the costs of new infrastructure.
  • Provides local authorities greater control over setting charging levels.

Local Plan Reform


The Bill provides local authorities and communities with 'greater choice and control' by removing the ability of the Planning Inspectorate to re-write local plans. Planning Inspectors will continue to assess local plans at public examinations and local authorities will only be able to adopt plans which the Inspector finds sound. However, Planning Inspectors will only be able to suggest changes at the request of the local authority.


Neighbourhood Planning


The Bill introduces a new right for communities to create neighbourhood plans. Through a Neighbourhood Development Order the local community will be able to define specific developments or types of development which will have automatic planning permission without the need for an application to the local planning authority.


Community Right to Build


The Community Right to Build will give local communities the power to take forward development in their area without the need to apply for planning permission subject to meeting certain safeguards and securing 50% support of the local community.


Pre-application consultation


The Bill introduces a new requirement for prospective developers to consult local communities before submitting planning applications for large developments.
 
The Bill is due to receive its second reading in the House of Commons on 17 January 2011.
 
For further information contact Liberty Stones on 01530 410844 email liberty.stones@fishergerman.co.uk
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