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Planning reforms to be folded into new levelling up and regeneration bill

Words: Martin Read

More rights for local residents to determine the design of developments are elements of planning reform that have been added in to the new bill announced by Prince Charles in the Queen's Speech.

The government has confirmed in the Queen’s Speech that its original plans for a new planning bill have been folded into a forthcoming levelling up and regeneration bill.

Prince Charles announced that this new bill “will be brought forward to drive local growth, empowering local leaders to regenerate their areas, and ensuring everyone can share in the United Kingdom’s success”.

“The planning system will be reformed to give residents more involvement in local development.”

Ahead of the speech, The Times reported that the government intended to introduce more consultation with local residents on design codes, and that there would be a fresh approach to how the planning inspectorate enforces local housing need targets, with areas constrained by the green belt able to sidestep “unrealistic” targets if they can produce a plan that is “well evidenced and drawn up in good faith”.

The bill will also seek to force landlords in England to let out empty high street shops.

A new transport bill will seek to “improve transport across the United Kingdom, delivering safer, cleaner services and enabling more innovation. Legislation will be introduced to modernise rail services and improve reliability for passengers.”

Image credit | iStock