The Localism Bill has become law.
The Localism Act will trigger the biggest transfer of power in a generation, releasing councils and communities from the grip of central government.
The Localism Act puts a number of new rights and powers at the disposal of local councils and people to take charge of their future.
Some of the key changes for local councils include:
- Clarifying the rules on predetermination in order to free up councillors to express their opinions on issues of local importance without the fear of legal challenge
- Introducing new planning enforcement rules, giving councils the ability to take action against people who deliberately conceal unauthorised development
- Increasing powers for councils to remove illegal advertisements and graffiti and prevent fly-posting, and giving planning authorities stronger powers to tackle abuses of the planning system
- Passing greater powers over housing and regeneration to local democratically elected representatives in London.
Key measures to increase the power of local communities include:
- Introducing a new Right to Bid, which will give residents the opportunity to take over treasured local assets like shops and pubs and keep them part of local life
- Introducing a new Right to Challenge, making it much easier for local groups with good ideas to put them forward and drive improvements in local services
- Introducing a new right to draw up a neighbourhood plan, giving local people a real voice to say where they think new houses, businesses and shops should go – and what they should look like
- Enabling communities to bring forward proposals for development they want – such as homes, shops, playgrounds or meeting halls, through the Community Right to Build
- Requiring developers to consult local communities before submitting certain applications. This gives people a chance to comment while there is still scope to make changes
- Ending decision making by unaccountable officials on important infrastructure projects such as train lines and power stations. The Act abolishes the Infrastructure Planning Commission, and restores responsibility for taking decisions to elected, accountable Ministers.
Do you need to know more about how this groundbreaking piece of legislation affects you and where you live? If you do, give us a call on 01282 872570, or email, and we will be happy to discuss your needs and provide expert advice. All our initial consultations are free.
Don’t forget the plain English guide to the Localism Act.
©Kirkwells Town Planners and Sustainable Development Consultants based at the Lancashire Digital Technology Centre in Burnley www.kirkwells.co.uk
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