Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill comes into law

Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill (LURB) receiving Royal Assent

Long awaited reforms for the planning system have come into law with the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill (LURB) receiving Royal Assent.

A key piece of legislation aiming to deliver on the government’s pledge to reverse geographical inequalities across the UK and remove obstacles to the delivery of new homes, the laws covers a raft of measures for areas including local plan making, heritage assets and planning enforcement as well as reforms to planning and infrastructure delivery obligations.

Among the measures introduced into law by the LURB are:

  • the introduction of a new infrastructure levy to replacing the current section 106 and Community Infrastructure Levy payments;
  • the introduction of a new process that would require developers to deliver infrastructure “integral to the design and delivery of a site”;
  • requirements for local planning authorities to have a design code that covers their entire area;
  • environmental outcomes reports that will replace environmental impact assessments and strategic environmental assessments;
  • giving planning authorities the power to instigate auctions to take leases on vacant high street properties;
  • the removal of the five-year housing land supply requirement for local authorities if they had an adopted local plan.

In announcing the LURB had been passed into law, Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, said that the “landmark” act would “deliver more homes for communities across the country and unleash levelling up in left-behind places”.

He continued by saying it would usher in a “faster and less bureaucratic” planning system that would deliver more infrastructure - such as GP surgeries, schools and transport links - whilst enhancing the environment.

Alex Madden, Head of the Thrings Planning and Environment team, said: “With the passing of the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, the landscape of the planning world has changed quite significantly and will result in local planning authorities, developers and landowners across the country having to reassess and amend their processes and activities to abide by these new laws.

“We would always recommend those in the planning world who are set to be impacted by these new laws to seek out robust professional and legal advice to ensure they are meeting the new regulations and restrictions in place but also to ensure they are taking advantage of any opportunities these new laws could provide.”

Thrings’ Planning and Environment lawyers have extensive experience in navigating complex local and national planning policy legislation and has successfully supported commercial and residential applications through the approval and appeal processes. To find out more and for advice on your development proposals, including how to address enforcement notices, please do get in touch.

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