Govt takes action to punish slow-moving developers
An amendment to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill would allow local authorities to decline to determine planning applications if a developer has been “unreasonably slow” in carrying out an earlier project on the same site.
It was one of several amendments introduced on Thursday to the bill by secretary of state Michael Gove. Other amendments called for development progress reports and an obligation for water companies to upgrade wastewater treatment facilities.
The amendment regarding slow development focused on developers who had previously applied to build on at least part of the same site, or who had a connection to that earlier development.
The amendment kicks into gear if work has not started on that earlier development or, if it has, the local authority “is of the opinion that the carrying out of the earlier development has been unreasonably slow”.
A second amendment would require developers to submit progress reports on residential schemes to the relevant local authority. This would e enforced as a planning permission condition.
Water companies would have to upgrade wastewater treatment works in areas where these facilities discharge more than the standard total nitrogen or phosphorous. The upgrade date for these plants would be 1 April 2030.
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities states that requiring these upgrades will encourage housebuilding by reducing the amount of mitigation efforts developers have to do to offset a project’s nutrient pollution.
Other amendments of interest include the creation of a “street votes” tool to enable the public to weigh in on proposals in their community and the creation of community land auctions.
For those interested in reading more about the amendments, here is a list of key pages from 22 November’s amendment list:
- Residential development progress reports – page 22
- Community land auctions – page 25
- Slow development punishments – page 46
- Street votes – page 48
- Wastewater treatment facility upgrades – page 59
The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill is set to enter the report stage on Wednesday, during which it will have its third reading in Parliament.
- READ MORE: Levelling Up Bill meets mixed reaction