A blog about planning, planning law and planning policy

Disclaimer

The information on this blog is not intended to be advice, legal or otherwise. You should not rely on it and I do not accept liability in connection with it. If you do have a planning law question on which you would like advice, seek legal advice from a suitably qualified solicitor. Specific advice should be sought for specific problems.

Localism Bill just awaits Royal Assent

So on Monday the Localism Bill was finally approved by the Commons, accepting all the amendments made in the Lords.  That includes the abandonment of the requirement to hold referendums on any and everything, though they are still in place for neighbourhood development orders and specific planning provisions.

The amendment sought by the Law Society in relation to concealed breaches of planning control was also accepted, though the Government did not go far enough and there are still serious problems caused by the new law.

And the Government stood firm, rightly in my view, in not putting a definition of sustainable development on the face of the Bill.  The definition is essentially a policy matter and its proper place is in policy.

So now we must see how it works out in practice.  What will be the significant aspects for planning?  My guess (in no particular order) is:

  • The removal of limitation periods for concealed breaches of planning control
  • Neighbourhood planning
  • Allowing CIL to be passed down to parishes and area bodies
  • The abolition of the Regional Strategies

I also wonder whether, with the abolition of the Infrastructure Planning Commission and the return of decision making on nationally significant infrastructure projects to ministers, we will actually get as may new nuclear power stations as quickly.  Happily that is something we will never be able to tell.

Roll on Royal Assent.

 

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