The Act makes provision for all local planning authorities to have a design code in place covering their entire area. The area-wide codes will act as a framework, for which subsequent detailed design codes can come forward, prepared for specific areas or sites and led either by the local planning authority, neighbourhood planning groups or by developers as part of planning applications. This will help ensure good design is considered at all spatial scales, down to development sites and individual plots.
The Act also makes provision to replace the current section 106 and the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) regimes with a new Infrastructure Levy. The rates and thresholds of this new levy will, as with the existing CIL regime, be set in charging schedules and set and raised by local planning authorities (rather than nationally), meaning that rates are tailored to local circumstances and deliver at least as much onsite affordable housing. Charging schedules must have regard to previous levels of affordable housing funded by developer contributions such that they are kept at a level that will exceed or maintain previous levels. All schedules will be subject to public examination. There will also be a process to require developers to deliver some forms of infrastructure that are integral to the design and delivery of a site. A government amendment to the Bill, agreed at committee stage, will allow money raised by the levy to be spent on additional matters as well as affordable housing and infrastructure. The government later proposed a further amendment to the bill designed to strengthen its provision of affordable housing and permit authorities to disapply the levy in cases where they consider it will make development unviable.
The Act also:
- includes a new requirement on local authorities to prepare infrastructure delivery strategies.
- gives more weight will be given to local plans, neighbourhood plans and spatial development strategies proposed by mayors or combined authorities.
- provides that the scope of local plans will be limited to ‘locally specific’ matters, with ‘issues that apply in most areas’ to be covered by a new suite of national policies
For more changes click here
Date: 26/10/2023 Received Royal Assent