The government has announced a new Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill as part of the Queen’s speech. The new Bill will contain measures to further strengthen neighbourhood planning and make the compulsory purchase order process ‘clearer, fairer and faster’.
The Bill, which comes less than a week after the Housing and Planning Act achieved Royal Assent, aims to support the government’s ambition to deliver one million new homes, whilst protecting areas such as the green belt, and deliver “the homes and infrastructure that this country needs”.
It will address the “overuse, and in some cases, misuse” of planning conditions. It also seeks to bolster neighbourhood planning, streamline the compulsory purchase order (CPO) process and reform the Land Registry.
The Bill will ensure that local planning authorities can only impose pre-commencement planning conditions where it is absolutely necessary. By addressing the overuse and sometimes misuse of certain planning conditions, the legislation will be geared to ensure that new housing can commence without unnecessary delay, the government said.
The new Bill will also further strengthen neighbourhood planning, handing more power to local people and making more transparent the local government duty to support groups. The Bill will also aim to improve the process for reviewing and updating plans.
Under the Bill, the compulsory purchase order process will be clearer, faster and fairer for those involved in it, the government said. This area of the Bill will also include reform of the context in which compensation is negotiated, “often a very significant and complex part of finalising a compulsory purchase deal”.
The Bill will also enable the privatisation the Land Registry “which would support the delivery of a modern, digitally-based land registration service that will benefit the Land Registry’s customers, such as people buying or selling their home.”