Bill enshrines levelling-up in law

The government has introduced a new bill which it hopes will lead to the rejuvenation of many struggling towns and cities by transforming high streets and providing more homes.

As part of the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, the government is reforming the planning system around new developments with a greater focus on local infrastructure and the environment.
This will include giving greater consideration to climate change and flood risk at the planning application stage.

The reforms will also give more legal weight to local plans and make it easier for communities to have their say by introducing a digital solution that makes applications easier to produce and view.

Levelling Up Secretary Rt Hon Michael Gove MP said, “This Bill puts in place the reforms we need to level up. It enshrines our levelling up missions in law, which will shift resources and focus throughout this decade to the parts and people of the country who need it most. It enables every part of England which wants a London-style mayor to have one. It empowers local people, not the big developers, to take back control of regeneration in their community.

“It shifts power out of Whitehall by giving local leaders the powers they need to tackle the blight of empty shops on high streets and to regenerate their communities. This is underpinned by a firm belief that by far the best placed people to level up communities are the people who live there.”
The Bill has been welcomed by the ABI.

James Dalton, Director of General Insurance Policy, said, “As an industry we have long been calling for more robust planning policy around development in flood risk areas and increasing our resilience to climate related flood risk. The measures in the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, introduced to Parliament, to put greater emphasis on environmental outcomes in the planning process and recognition of the need to protect areas at high flood risk areas are very welcome.

“Adapting to climate change and managing flood risk is a challenge for the whole of our society and we look forward to working with Government and Parliament as the Bill progresses.”


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