Bringing the Planning and Housing Act into effect

Published: 06/06/2016

Less than a month after it gained Royal Assent the Government has made an interesting choice on the first part of the Planning and Housing Act it brings into effect.

Some sections, including those relating to independent processing of planning applications, were brought in at the same time as the Act itself but are dependent on regulations being made and approved before they ‘bite’. The making of the first Commencement Order under the Act (SI 2016/609), however, brings a number of additional sections into immediate effect. 

Most of the sections covered by the Order enable payments to be made to private registered providers of housing in relation to discounts offered to tenants when buying their home under the voluntary right to buy scheme. Practitioners and local authorities are likely to be much more interested in the implementation of Section 145(5). 

This inserts a new section 21A into the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, and allows the Secretary of State to issue a temporary direction halting progress on any development plan or local development document prior to its adoption.

Sadiq Khan has recently announced that "my single biggest priority will be to build thousands more homes every year… and to give first dibs to Londoners on new homes.” It is possible that this is the Government's response to that statement – whether or not this is the case, all emerging development plan and local development documents are now at risk of central government intervention.

The content of this article is for general information only. For further information regarding the Planning and Housing Act, please contact Sue Chadwick or a member of Birketts' Planning and Environmental team. Law covered as at June 2016.


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