The Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017
The Bill received Royal Assent on the 27 April. However many of its provisions (including the provisions reported on below) are not in force and it is unlikely the provisions will come into force prior to the election.
The Act gives the power to the Secretary of State to introduce regulations curtailing the use of planning conditions. The same section in the Act makes clear that planning permission may not be granted subject to a pre-commencement condition without the written agreement of the applicant to the terms of the condition but the requirement for the applicant to agree does not apply in circumstances as may be prescribed by regulation.
The Act amends existing legislation to strengthen neighbourhood planning. The amendments are numerous and include:
- Amending the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to impose a duty on local authorities to take into account “a post –examination draft neighbourhood development plan” in the determination of planning applications;
- Amending the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 to make clear that a neighbourhood plan forms part of the development plan if there has been a referendum in relation to the plan and more than half of those voting have voted in favour of the plan but the local authority has not made the plan.
Joint Plan Making
At present local authorities may make a joint development plan, in future the making of a joint plan may well be forced upon authorities.
The Act amends the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act to allow the Secretary of State to direct two or more planning authorities to prepare a joint development plan where he considers that to do so will facilitate the more effective planning of the development and use of land. The direction may specify the matters to be covered by the plan and the timetable for preparation.
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