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The Localism Act: planning provisions at a glance

Abolition of regional strategies: A 12-week consultation into eight strategic environmental assessments into the decision to scrap regional strategies must be completed before orders can be laid in Parliament to revoke the plans. 

Neighbourhood planning: introducing a new right for communities to draw up a neighbourhood plan. The DCLG says that local communities will be able to use neighbourhood planning to grant full or outline planning permission in areas where they most want to see new homes and businesses.

According to the DCLG, provided a neighbourhood development plan or order is in line with national planning policy, with the strategic vision for the wider area set by the local authority, and with other legal requirements, local people will be able to vote on it in a referendum. If the plan is approved by a majority of those who vote, then the local authority will bring it into force.

Community right to build: a community organisation, formed by members of the local community, will be able to bring forward development proposals which, providing they meet minimum criteria and can demonstrate local support through a referendum, will be able to go ahead without requiring a separate traditional planning application.

Requirement to consult communities before submitting certain planning applications: introducing a new requirement for developers to consult local communities before submitting planning applications for certain developments.

 

Strengthening enforcement rules: strengthen planning authorities' powers to tackle abuses of the planning system, such as deliberately concealing new developments.

Reforming the Community Infrastructure Levy: giving the government the power to require that some of the money raised from the levy go directly to the neighbourhoods where development takes place.

Reform the way local plans are made: to limit the discretion of planning inspectors to insert their own wording into local plans.

 

Clarifying the rules on predetermination: makes it clear that it is proper for councillors to play an active part in local discussions, and that they should not be liable to legal challenge as a result.

Greater local control over business rates: giving councils more freedom to offer business rate discounts. Councils would need to meet the cost of any discount from local resources.

Community right to bid (assets of community value): Act requiring local authorities to maintain a list of assets of community value which have been nominated by the local community. When listed assets come up for sale or change of ownership, the Act then gives community groups the time to develop a bid and raise the money to bid to buy the asset when it comes on the open market. 

Commencement: Various parts at different times from the next two months.


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