The Localism Bill - will it deliver "power to the people"?


The forthcoming Localism Bill has wide-reaching implications for developers, planners and local communities.

This article focuses on the property implications of the Bill, specifically the changes to the planning system.

Plans & Strategies

Regional Spatial Strategies are to be abolished with decisions on housing supply and planning returning to local planning authorities (LPAs). A key element of the new regime will be a new statutory obligation on LPAs to co-operate actively with each other in relation to sustainable development and the use of land for strategic infrastructure. There will also be greater transparency with public publishing of up-to-date information on any local development scheme and monitoring reports.


The Bill introduces a statutory requirement for developers to consult local communities before submitting planning applications for major developments. The thresholds of development will be specified by secondary legislation. The DCLG have stated that this requirement will initially apply to major planning applications, for example, residential developments of more than 200 units and other developments that provide 10,000 square metres or more of new floor space. This is intended to give local people an opportunity to comment on proposed development while they have a chance to influence proposals before they are finalised.

Developers will be required to have regard to any responses received during the consultation when deciding whether to make any changes to the proposed development, before submitting their planning applications.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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