Parliament c Marcin Nowak on Unsplash

A series of amendments to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill were published on Thursday. Credit: Marcin Nowak on Unsplash

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.

Your Comments

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Sad times for Peel Holdings

By Anonymous

Not much of an issue for Renaker, One Heritage on the other hand.

By Anonymous

I think you may have missed or otherwise overlooked one hilariously awful proposed amendment that is on p90 of the 22nd November amendments.

This is seeking to add the following as a material consideration for the determination of an application: “the applicant’s character as developer, including their previous compliance with planning rules and conditions, their record of engagement with planning authorities and delivery of developments, and accounting for whether they have made multiple, repetitive applications”

LPAs are stretched enough as is, and applicants complain of slow determination times but if they then had to consider the character of an applicant anywhere at any time? Save us all.

By JohnMac

    JohnMac, good spot! I was focusing on those introduced by Gove, but there are definitely a few interesting amendments that were not mentioned in this article.

    By Julia Hatmaker

Of course there is always a contrary situation whereby a local aurhority is being unreasonably slow or awkward in processing an application eg Romal Central Docks in Liverpool.
In addition putting up barriers to development like height limits or parking expectations , to the point whereby developers avoid a city due to it`s pedantry.

By Anonymous

Should be both ways… there should be more options available to an applicant if a local authority sit on perfectly sound applications for months and months.


To those whatabouting by suggesting there is no means of progressing an application if the LPA is not behaving: just appeal on non-determination. I’m sure if the scheme is good enough, the appeal will be allowed.

By Unlevelled for balance

Will not make a blind bit of difference.

By Anonymous

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