Parliament launches Neighbourhood Planning Bill

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The Neighbourhood Planning Bill, which aims to speed up the process while supporting housebuilding, has gone before parliament…

Housing and Planning Minister Gavin Barwell said the new Neighbourhood Planning Bill would streamline the planning process and give local people greater say over development in their area.

The Bill was launched in parliament and will simplify how plans can be revised as local circumstances change. It will also speed up the process to ensure plans come into force sooner once they are approved by local people.

Barwell said: “The prime minister has been absolutely clear that we need to build more homes and this bill is the first of a number of measures to deliver on that.

“We have already built more than 900,000 homes since 2010 and now this bill will help speed up delivery of the further new homes our country needs and ensure our foot is still firmly on the pedal.

“We’re also going further than ever before to speed up neighbourhood planning, which puts power in the hands of local people to decide where development gets built.”

A new section will be added into the Town and Planning Country Act 1990 that will ensure planning conditions that require action before work starts are only used where absolutely necessary. However, this will take into account heritage and safeguard measures.

In an explanatory note, which was released alongside the legislation, it was also noted that permission cannot be granted “subject to a pre-commencement conditions without the written agreement of the applicant to the terms of the condition”.

The Bill also simplifies compulsory purchase orders to make it “clearer, fairer and faster”, rather than the system which is “currently based on a patchwork of statute and case law”.

Furthermore, the decision over privatising the Land Registry has been put on hold.

A consultation into the Bill will run until 19 October 2016. For more information: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/implementation-of-neighbourhood-planning-provisions-in-the-neighbourhood-planning-bill

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