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Levelling-Up & Regeneration Bill gets Royal Assent - by the skin of its teeth...

It is official.  The time has come to retire all of the old LURB puns and start considering more LURA (or should that be lurid) wordplay. 

On the very last day of the parliamentary term, the Levelling-Up and Regeneration Bill has become the Levelling-Up and Regeneration Act …. which I think might be my new definition of ‘squeaking in under the wire’.

The Act has yet to come into effect, but is now in its final form and has the potential to significantly reshape our planning system in the months to come. Not least as DLUHC has repeatedly promised to issue its response to last December's consultation on the NPPF once the bill obtained Royal Assent.

By way of a recap, some of changes in the act, which are likely to impact planners and developers on a day to day basis, include:

  • Raising the enforcement period for all breaches of planning control to ten years
  • Granting LPAs the ability to refuse to determine planning applications on the basis of the developer previously not implementing permissions in its area, or building them out unreasonably slowly
  • The introduction of a new power to amend planning permissions through “s.73B” - which would allow permissions to be granted that were not substantially different in effect to a previous permission on the site - but with consideration only being given to the proposed changes.
  • The introduction of the Infrastructure Levy and Environmental Outcomes Reports.
  • The introduction of both Street Votes and Community Land Auctions.
  • The abolition of the duty to cooperate.
  • Changes to compulsory purchase compensation rules to allow land to be bought at existing use value for schemes delivering large levels of affordable housing;  and
  • Wide ranging provisions allowing for both the digitisation of planning and speeding up local plans.

Whilst the Bill getting Royal Assent is a big achievement, there is a still a lot of work left to do… bringing the provisions in LURA into effect will require a huge raft of further consultations, detailed technical work and secondary legislation.

In short, I am afraid that there will be a LURA, LURA blog posts still to come….


The Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill was given Royal Assent on Thursday 26 October and is now an Act of Parliament (law).

The  Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill aims to support the government’s commitment to reducing geographical disparities between different parts of the UK by spreading opportunity more equally. The bill will also require the government to report annually on its progress, support the devolution of powers in England and create a framework for the delivery of green homes.”