Planning reform and the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill

Planning reform and the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill


This web resource is home to Lichfields' coverage and analysis of the ongoing planning reform and the passage of the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill. It will be updated as announcements and consultations are released, in order to highlight the implications and provide thought leadership for the industry.







Latest on planning reform



The Government has proposed to change the nature of local plans, while also seeking to simplify the process of producing them. Development plans are expected to be given greater weight in the decision-making process, while generic national development management policies would form part of the development plan. This section looks at the future of plan-making – from the strategic to the neighbourhood level.


Development management

The proposed changes to legislation would lead to significant change to several aspects of the development management process, including heritage. These include a new route to vary planning permissions, increasing the weight given to development plans, monitoring build out rates and raising planning fees. The enforcement regime proposed would be more flexible for authorities, with longer time frames for enforcement action and greater opportunity to offer enforcement relief.


Infrastructure Levy

The Bill proposes to reform of developer contributions through the introduction of the infrastructure levy. This would be a non-negotiable levy based on final development value and would include affordable housing contributions. Eventually all local planning authorities in England would have to charge it. This section provides an overview of what is known about the infrastructure levy and will be updated as more details emerge.


Town centres & regeneration

The bill proposes a number of measures addressing town centres and regeneration ranging from reforms to compulsory purchase orders to high street rental auctions. The Government intend that combined with wider non-legislative policy changes and funding, in sum these changes ‘raise people’s satisfaction with their town centre’ - one of the 12 levelling up missions.


Environmental outcomes and Biodiversity Net Gain


Beyond the bill

Beyond the legal changes proposed in the Bill, much of the Government’s levelling up agenda will be shaped by the policies and strategies set out in the White Paper, and the associated funding arrangements. The Government have been clear that in order to succeed in it’s 12 missions for levelling up, devolution will also need to be a significant part of the agenda. This section provides an overview of the levelling up agenda ‘beyond the bill’ and will be updated as more details emerge.


Contact your local Lichfields office