Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill gives Councils power over private property

Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill gives Councils power over private property

10:43 AM, 12th May 2022, About 2 weeks ago 11

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Government released details of the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill discloses powers that will be given locally to councils to take control over empty properties, second properties and high streets. This kind of power would seem a slippery slope and includes:

  • New powers for local leaders to run High Street Rental Auctions, where they can auction off tenancies in shops that have been vacant for over a year. This is to decrease the number of empty shops in high streets.
  • Councils will also be able to double council tax on empty and second homes, ensuring everyone pays their fair share towards local services and boost levelling up.
  • Legislation to make it easier for councils to regenerate their town centres through Compulsory Purchase Orders, making the process quicker and easier to use.
  • A new, locally set infrastructure levy, charged on the final value of property when its sold, will replace much of the broken S106 payments system. This will see the big developers contribute far more of the money they make from development towards building better local roads, rail, schools, hospitals, and more affordable housing.
  • The ‘al-fresco dining revolution’ will be made permanent, injecting new life into the high street through creating a sustainable process for communities, business and local authorities, making it permanently cheaper and quicker to get a licence for outdoor dining.

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove MP said: “As a country, we need to be firing on all cylinders. That is why we must level up the UK; spread prosperity and opportunity, and make sure everyone can share in our nation’s success.

“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.

“We want everyone to be given the opportunity to stay local but go far.”

Right homes in the right places

The Bill will also deliver new reforms to the planning system, ensuring new development is more beautiful, produces more local Infrastructure, is shaped by local people’s democratic wishes, improves environmental outcomes, and occurs with neighbourhoods very much in mind.

Measures include:

  • Local plans – the way in which councils set the vision for future development in their area and decide whether to give planning permission – will gain stronger legal weight and be made simpler to produce. Communities will have a major say in these plans giving them more opportunity to shape what happens in their areas. Currently 61% of councils do not have an up to date local plan, which leaves communities exposed to development on which they haven’t had a meaningful say.
  • A digitised planning system making plans and planning applications fully available on your smartphone.
  • Stronger protections for the environment in local plans, empowering councils to make better use of brownfield land and protect precious greenbelt land.
  • Local design codes will be made mandatory so that developers have to respect styles drawn up and favoured locally – from the layout or materials used, to how it provides green space.

The government has today also outlined a new deal for millions of renters in private and social housing.

By ending Section 21 evictions and extending the Decent Homes Standard to the private rented sector, all renters can expect a decent, safe, and secure home. At the same time, these measures deliver a fairer system for good landlords who can struggle to recover their properties when faced with anti-social behaviour or wilful non-payment of rent.

Details on further support for tenants in social housing will be unveiled later this year which will include a review of the Decent Homes Standard, new consumer regulation and regular inspections of the largest landlords.

 



Comments

by Badger

11:21 AM, 14th May 2022, About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Judith Wordsworth at 12/05/2022 - 10:58
The argument is that second homes cause localised blight by the combined evils of:

a) forcing up house prices and thus pricing the locals and their children out of the market

b) the hollowing out of the community due to properties being empty for a substantial part of the year

c) the loss of local services due to businesses being unable to survive on the reduced income as a result of (b)


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