Levelling-Up and Regeneration Bill receives Royal Assent

On 26th October, 2023, the Levelling-Up and Regeneration Bill of 2022-23 received Royal Assent, officially becoming the Levelling-Up and Regeneration Act 2023, often referred to as LURA 2023. While the full scope of LURA 2023 is not yet available, we want to explore what is known and what the changes included within the Act will mean and how they might impact planners and developers. 

The Government’s Vision

The government has proclaimed that LURA 2023 will “speed up the planning system, hold developers to account, cut bureaucracy, and encourage more councils to put in place plans to enable the building of new homes.” These are ambitious claimshowever, it’s important to note that before LURA 2023 can take full effect, there will need to be a raft of technical consultations, the creation of secondary legislation, and updates to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

Key Changes on the Horizon

LURA 2023 is likely to introduce several changes that could directly affect both planners and developers. Some of these changes are set to be implemented through various sections of the Act, particularly in Part 3 (Planning) and Part 4 (Infrastructure Levy).

Here’s a closer look at some of the key changes:

  • Digitising Planning: The Act seeks to modernise and streamline planning processes. This digitisation effort is aimed at making planning more efficient and accessible.
  • Speeding Up Local Plans: LURA 2023 aims to expedite the creation and approval of local plans. This could translate to quicker decision-making and more efficient development processes.
  • Developer Accountability: Local planning authorities will gain the power to reject planning applications from developers who have a track record of slow implementation or non-compliance with previous permissions. 
  • Amending Planning Permissions: The Act introduces a new power, known as “Section 73B,” which allows for amendments to planning permissions which are not substantially different to a previous permission on the site. 
  • Infrastructure Levy: One of the notable changes is the introduction of a new infrastructure levy. This levy is set to replace planning obligations and the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). 

We await the final text of the LURA 2023 and the necessary secondary legislation and changes to the NPPF, which will provide greater clarity on the changes and the implications for planners and developers. 

At EP, our team of chartered town planners are here to support you with all planning matters including assembling and submitting applications for planning permission, s106 agreements, CIL advice, planning appeals and permitted development rights. We can help to guide you through the changes resulting from the Levelling-Up and Regeneration Act 2023 and how they might impact on your development proposals. 

Please contact us for any planning advice and you can follow us on LinkedIn to keep up to date with everything that we do.

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