What is the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill?

Published: 05/07/2023

What is the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill?

You may have read about or heard of ‘The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill’ and in terms of residential development the purpose of the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill is to “drive local growth, empowering local leaders to regenerate their areas, and ensuring everyone can share in the United Kingdom’s success”, according to the Queen’s speech 2022.
The Government has proposed to change the nature of the Councils Local Plans, while also trying to simplify the process to produce them. Development plans are expected to be given more weight in the decision-making process.

Where are we with the Bill?

In 2020, Government saw a proposed White paper which provided future suggestions for major changes within planning system.
Its focus was on increasing the deliverability of new housing but also ensuring that all new housing would be well designed, taking into account environmental impact and necessary infrastructure improvements.
The proposal stated that Local Authorities must have plans in place to meet the requirement, as well as ensuring the planning system worked more efficiently.
A Generic development management policy would be set out under the National Planning Portal Framework (NPPF) but the housing number would be agreed by centralised Government.
In addition, the land would be zoned, the ideas for the zone designations were:
• housing and commercial growth
• renewable energy
• protected land

Almost two years later and after a huge amount of speculation as to the shape and extent of the reforms, the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill has made good progress. Further changes since then to national policy and detailed regulations have come forward, with an overview of these available on the government website.

Currently the Bill has had its second reading in the House of Lords and is in consultation. It still has a little way to go with a third reading required and following that a formal sign off by Buckingham Palace.

For further information related to this topic please contact Darren Woodyer – Development Manager.