HBF response: Levelling-Up and Regeneration Bill receives Royal Assent

27 Oct, 2023

HBF response: Levelling-Up and Regeneration Bill receives Royal Assent

The Levelling-Up and Regeneration Bill received Royal Assent on Thursday 26 October.

The wide-ranging piece of legislation contains numerous measures which the Government says is intended to:

  • Put local people at the heart of development – by making it easier to put local plans in place and requiring design codes that set out where homes will be built and how they will look.
  • Boost local services – requiring developers to deliver vital infrastructure. Further details on these measures will be set out shortly.
  • Rebalance the housing and land markets – giving local councils the power to increase council tax on empty homes and reforming compensation for compulsory purchase orders by removing ‘hope value’ where justified.
  • Encourage developers to get building – giving communities updates on the progress of development and giving councils the chance to consider slow build-out rates when approving planning.
  • Bring high streets back to life - giving councils the powers to work directly with landlords to bring empty buildings back in to use by local businesses and community groups through high street rental auctions.

Sam Stafford, Planning Director at the Homes Builders Federation said: "Measures to speed up the planning system and build more homes are welcome, and we hope that reforms aimed at simplifying the planning system can be followed through with. 

Stafford added: "There must now be an urgent focus on addressing the challenges threatening housing supply, like local authority capacity and capability, falling numbers of consents, and nutrient neutrality.  

Stafford concluded: "If Government is serious about meeting its housing targets, it must also reverse proposals to weaken local authorities' housing responsibilities, which have seen 60 councils withdraw or pause their local plans, and get on with publishing the revised National Planning Policy Framework."