The Neighbourhood Planning Bill was introduced in the House of Commons on 7 September and is currently at committee stage.
It is intended to complement the Housing and Planning Act 2016 with a view to helping developers achieve the government’s ambition of more new homes.
Two key areas are targeted:
- The increased importance of neighbourhood plans
The Bill includes a statutory requirement to consider a relevant post-examination draft neighbourhood plan when dealing with planning applications. Neighbourhood plans that have been approved by referendum will, immediately, also become part of the statutory development plan, i.e., there is no need for formal adoption by the Local Planning Authority.
Along with the Bill, the government’s ‘Neighbourhood Planning Regulations Consultation’, which ended on Tuesday 18 October, proposed avenues for modifying existing neighbourhood plans.
- Reigning in planning conditions
The consultation ‘Improving the Use of Planning Conditions’, ending on Wednesday 2nd November, suggests that too many unnecessary conditions are imposed and pre-commencement conditions are often restrictive and unjustified.
To remedy this, the Bill allows for regulations that regulate the imposition of certain conditions in certain circumstances and, for most pre-commencement conditions, can only be imposed where agreed by the applicant in writing. Such regulations will also test whether conditions are necessary, relevant, sufficiently precise and reasonable.
For further information on how our Real Estate department can assist you with The Neighbourhood Planning Bill, please contact: