Localism Bill - update
This alert was included in the summer 2011 issue of Informer - the real estate newsletter.
The Localism Bill is currently working its way through the House of Lords and there has been significant debate regarding the controversial clause 124. This requires local planning authorities, when considering planning applications, to have regard to any "local finance considerations" so far as material to the application. A “local finance consideration” means a grant or other financial assistance that has been, or will or could be, provided to a relevant authority by a Minister (such as the New Homes Bonus), or the payment of any Community Infrastructure Levy.
The purpose of the clause, according to the Coalition Government, is to clarify that payments such as the Community Infrastructure Levy can be taken into account as a material planning consideration. However, opponents argue that this suggests that planning permissions are capable of being bought by developers.
In relation to neighbourhood planning, companies with links to the area will now be able to join neighbourhood forums and participate in the creation of planning documents for that community. The Government has also announced that it is intended that business will lead the creation of Neighbourhood Development Plans for the following pilot areas:
- London’s South Bank, Bankside and West End
- Manchester’s Trafford Park
- Aldershot’s town centre
- Inner Milton Keynes
- Liverpool’s Innovation Park
- Gateshead’s Team Valley Trading Estate
If you have assets in any of these locations, and future plans for development or expansion, it will be important to get involved.