Bill drops Land Reg and infrastructure sale


10 September 2016 – by Alexander Peace

The first property bill of Theresa May’s new government emerged this week in much diluted form.


The Neighbourhood Planning Bill, known previously as the Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill, was due to be released before parliament’s summer recess but was hit by the aftermath of the EU referendum.

Amendments include the strengthening of neighbourhood plans and new compulsory purchase powers, while the privatisation of the Land Registry and the creation of the National Infrastructure Commission were put on hold.

A second reading of the bill will take place on 10 October.

Here are the five things you need to know:

1. Changes to strengthen neighbourhood planning

The bill aims to give more weight to neighbourhood plans earlier in the planning process, to encourage community participation and ensure they have influence.

Even if plans have not been ratified, they are to be taken into account, giving them more weight. It will also make plans more flexible, allowing changes to existing plans, authorities to intervene more easily, and allows for sub-plans by communities within broader neighbourhood plans.

All the content from this weekís magazine, including this article, is available in the new app.

James Bainbridge, head of planning and development at Carter Jonas, said: “The majority of neighbourhood plans to date have focused on stopping development rather than promoting it.

“Neighbourhoods as they are defined often don’t have the ability to see the bigger picture to deliver the scale of infrastructure that is required.”

2. Streamlining compulsory purchase orders

CPO regulations will be simplified to be clearer, fairer and faster. The government said the process can currently be uncertain and complex.

Melanie Leech, chief executive of the British Property Federation, said: “The measures to improve the CPO system are particularly important as they will help to bring about infrastructure projects more quickly and efficiently, which are crucial for attracting inward investment and acting as a catalyst for regeneration schemes.”

Click here to find out what else you need to know

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