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  5. 12 May 2011
  6. Government proposes key amendments to Localism Bill

Government proposes key amendments to Localism Bill

The British Property Federation has welcomed amendments to the Localism Bill that would for the first time give businesses a voice in the planning system.

The Government has published amendments to the Localism Bill that would open up membership of Neighbourhood Forums – local groups that will be empowered to draw up planning documents for their communities – to businesses with links to the area.

Also Included among this batch of amendments is new wording which gives explicit legal support for the Government’s New Homes Bonus. The Campaign to Protect Rural England had  claimed that the original provisions were open to challenge.

The Coalition’s flagship Localism Bill which contains key measures affecting the planning regime is due to pass an important Parliamentary milestone shortly.

On 17 and 18 May the legislation will have its Report Stage and Third Reading in the Commons before the Lords scrutinises the Bill.

These sessions will provide an opportunity for ministers and MPs to try to make changes to the measures.

Among the amendments already tabled by backbench MPs are a number on issues around neighbourhood planning and neighbourhood development orders including the minimum size for a neighbourhood forum; a requirement that the Coalition defines sustainable development within six months; a proposal for a community right of appeal against any planning permission that goes against a development plan and a move to outlaw appeals against refusal of planning permission for housing development.

Access the Government amendments.

Roger Milne

12 May 2011