Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill – how the new laws affect New Build

Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill

Following Royal Ascent, The Levelling-up and Regeneration Act 2023 became law on 26th October 2023, particularly impacting the construction and housing sectors.

With the aim of speeding up the planning system and fostering a more efficient framework for building homes, this legislation signifies a shift in how development occurs across the country.

The core ethos of the Act revolves around several pivotal aspects. First and foremost, it emphasises the acceleration of the planning process, aiming to eliminate bureaucracy that often impedes swift and effective decision-making. By streamlining these procedures, developers will be held accountable, ensuring a faster realisation of housing projects while aligning with the democratic wishes of local communities.

One of the Act’s most striking features is its focus on creating not just homes but vibrant, cohesive neighbourhoods. The intention is to ensure that new developments integrate seamlessly with local infrastructure, including schools, medical facilities, andtransportation networks. This multifaceted approach aims to foster communities where people not only reside but actively desire to live and work.

The impact on the new build market is yet to be seen, however the Act injects a renewed impetus into the construction of homes, especially in areas identified as most in need. This focus on construction isn’t merely about numbers; it’s about strategically placing homes where they are most necessary, thereby contributing significantly to the government’s overarching goal of levelling up across regions.

Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities, Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, expressed the Act’s comprehensive nature, highlighting its potential to revitalise town centres and high streets. The legislation empowers councils to collaborate directly with landlords, repurposing empty buildings to breathe life back into local business communities. Additionally, the Act’s provision for permanent outdoor seating for cafes and restaurants signals a boost for local hospitality establishments, solidifying their presence in town centres.

Crucially, the Act lays down measures that rebalance the housing and land markets, empowering local councils to address issues like empty homes and ensuring fair compensation for compulsory purchase orders. This move is aimed at creating a more equitable landscape for both homeowners and developers.

An essential facet of this legislation is the emphasis on environmental sustainability. By enhancing protected landscapes and tailoring environmental assessments to align with national priorities, the Act seeks to ensure that development occurs responsibly without compromising the environment.

With streamlined planning processes, accountability for developers, and a focus on community-centric development, the Act is poised to significantly reshape the construction landscape. Its emphasis on integration with infrastructure, environmental considerations, and creating cohesive neighbourhoods is set to redefine the approach to building new homes.

In tandem with substantial government investment in levelling-up projects and bolstering council capabilities, this Act paves the way for a more robust, responsive, and community-driven approach to housing and construction in the UK.

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