Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities
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Plans to level up and build new homes tabled in Parliament

Measures to clean up rivers added to Levelling Up Bill, with vital infrastructure to be delivered more quickly.

Delivering much-needed housing, boosting local infrastructure and strengthening environmental protections are at the heart of government levelling up plans tabled in parliament.

Key amendments to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill put forward this week, will put power in the hands of local people to bring forward development they want to see and clamp down on slow build out by developers.

The new measures will follow the Government’s BIDEN principles:

  • making sure new development is Beautiful
  • supported by the right Infrastructure
  • a more Democratic system where communities have their say
  • enhances the Environment
  • and creating better Neighbourhoods shaped by the people who live in them

This will help to regenerate communities and deliver on the levelling up missions set out in the White Paper earlier this year.

Minister of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Rt Hon Lucy Frazer MP recently said:

Levelling Up means creating vibrant and beautiful communities where local people and businesses can thrive. The measures we are setting out today will put protecting the environment at the heart of our plans, while bringing forward much needed new homes across the country.

We will make sure that new development is surrounded by the right infrastructure and that local people are given an opportunity to shape their neighbourhood.

Amendments being tabled will:

  • Tackle slow build out by developers to make sure much needed new homes are delivered. Developers will have to report annually to councils on their progress and councils will have new powers to block planning proposals from builders who have failed to deliver on the same land.
  • Improve our environment and enshrine in law an obligation on water companies to clean up our rivers by upgrading wastewater treatment works. Considering all catchments covered by the amendment, our initial estimates indicate that there will be around a 75% reduction in phosphorus loads and around a 55% reduction in nitrogen loads in total from wastewater treatment works, although this will vary between individual catchments. These upgrades will enable housebuilding to be unlocked by reducing the amount of mitigation developers must provide to offset nutrient pollution. This will be accompanied by a Nutrient Mitigation Scheme that will make it easier for developers to discharge their mitigation obligations.
  • Give residents a new tool to propose additional development on their street, like extensions to existing homes, through ‘street votes’. Planning permission will only be granted when an independent examiner is satisfied that certain requirements, such as on design, have been met and the proposal is endorsed at a referendum by the immediate community. Pilot Community Land Auctions – testing a new way of capturing value from land when it is allocated for development in the local plan to provide vital infrastructure, including schools, roads, GP surgeries, and the affordable housing that communities need.
  • Enhancing powers for mayors to support them to managing their key route networks and increase transport connectivity across their area.
  • Help Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects such as wind farms and new major transport links be delivered more quickly, by enabling a small number of public bodies to charge for their statutory services to help them provide a better, reliable, quality of advice to developers and support faster planning decisions.

Water Minister Rebecca Pow recently said:

These measures will help us to deliver the homes that this country needs, whilst protecting our precious environment.

It is vital that some of our most important wildlife sites are protected against nutrient pollution and water companies will need to step up and play their part to clean up our rivers. These new environmental requirements will ensure this happens.

The recent announcement builds on measures already announced in the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, which will see the biggest shift of power from Whitehall in modern times to make sure local leaders have the tools they need to harness the full potential of their area.

The Bill will deliver the right homes in the right places in keeping with local styles, tackle the scourge of boarded up shops on high streets and make it easier for councils to regenerate disused land to create thriving communities.

Further information:

More detail about the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill can be found here.


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