Levelling Up & Regeneration Act Changes | Detailed Planning

Levelling Up & Regeneration Act Changes

18th April 2024

The Levelling Up & Regeneration Act represents a significant overhaul of policies aimed at revitalising and balancing economic and social opportunities across different regions of the UK. 

It was rolled out across the country in October 2023, but now it has settled into a flow; our team of architects wanted to highlight this act; every potential homeowner and current homeowner in the UK must understand it. 

This legislation introduces various changes designed to empower local authorities, stimulate economic growth, and ensure sustainable development. As these reforms begin to take effect, policymakers, stakeholders, and citizens alike must understand the scope and implications of the Act. 

This article will explore the fundamental changes brought about by the Act, assess their potential impact on planning and development, and discuss how they aim to transform local communities for the better. 

What Is The Levelling Up & Regeneration Act? 

The Levelling Up & Regeneration Act is a legislative framework introduced by the UK government to reduce regional disparities and promote equal opportunities across the country. 

The Act encompasses measures designed to empower local governments, revitalise urban and rural areas, and support economic growth outside the traditionally more affluent South East of England. It aims to enhance local decision-making, improve public services, and ensure that infrastructure developments meet the diverse needs of different communities. 

By focusing on regeneration and levelling up, the Act seeks to create a more balanced and equitable distribution of resources and opportunities, fostering long-term sustainability and community resilience. 

The act was brought into play back in October 2023; this has been done to help drive up the economy across the UK as well as those affluent areas in London and surrounding areas. 

Legislation Changes

Brand New 10-Year Rule Has Been Applied 

Introducing the new 10-year rule under the Levelling Up & Regeneration Act marks a significant shift in planning and development regulations. This rule allows certain types of existing structures that have been in place without the requisite planning permissions to be granted retrospective consent if they have remained unchallenged for a decade. 

This provision simplifies the legal framework around long-standing developments, reducing the burden on property owners and local authorities. 

By implementing this rule, the government aims to clear up ambiguities in property status, thereby facilitating easier ownership transfers, improving the efficiency of the planning system, and ultimately supporting the broader objectives of community development and regeneration.

Second Property Council Tax Premium Introduced 

One of the most significant issues across the UK currently is the housing shortage; there is a significant issue with properties needing to be made available for those who need them, and this large-scale property underutilisation is damaging the UK housing market. 

The UK government has introduced a new measure as part of the Levelling Up & Regeneration Act: a council tax premium on second homes. This initiative targets properties, not the owner’s primary residence, and imposes an additional tax to encourage owners to occupy, rent or sell these homes. 

This tax is payable by those who can afford two houses, especially those who use them as summer houses, rental properties or other forms of accommodation. 

This policy is intended to increase housing availability in high-demand areas and reduce the number of empty properties or properties used part-time. 

By leveraging this tax premium, local authorities can generate additional revenue that can be reinvested into local services and infrastructure, further supporting community development and housing accessibility. 

Property Tax

Councils Are Granting More Self-Build Homes 

When this new act came into place, we saw councils up and down the country becoming more proactive in how they can help diversify housing options and encourage individuals to move more towards property development. 

This comes as part of the Levelling Up and Regeneration Act, which calls for councils to provide more permission for self-builds, removing tight restrictions that can be off-putting for those trying to get on the property ladder more uniquely, such as designing and developing their property. 

This initiative, supported by the Levelling Up & Regeneration Act, aims to empower individuals and families to design and construct homes tailored to their needs and preferences. Local authorities are nurturing a more participatory approach to housing development by facilitating access to land and simplifying the planning process. 

This trend helps to meet the growing demand for housing and stimulates local economies through construction-related activities. The increased emphasis on self-build projects represents a significant shift towards more personalised and community-focused housing solutions.

25-35% Increase On All Planning Application Fees

One of the most significant changes we saw when the Levelling Up & Regeneration Act changed in 2023 was that the planning application fees have been subject to quite a substantial increase. 

This was pushed through to better the resources available to local planning authorities, allowing them to provide a more transparent and efficient service to potential homeowners nationwide. 

The increased fees are expected to enhance the processing capabilities of planning departments by funding additional staff and improving the technology used in the planning process. 

While this rise may initially seem burdensome to developers and individuals seeking planning permissions, the long-term goal is to reduce delays and backlogs in application processing, ultimately facilitating smoother development projects and contributing to faster community development and regeneration.

Planning Permissions

“Unreasonably Slow” Applicants Will Suffer

Under the new regulations set forth by the Levelling Up & Regeneration Act, applicants who fail to progress their development projects reasonably may face significant penalties. The act outlines what is described as “Unreasonably Slow”. 

This measure is designed to prevent the stalling of developments that can lead to prolonged underutilisation of land and resources, which is detrimental to community growth and development. 

The aim is to encourage developers and property owners to adhere to their proposed timelines, ensuring that approved projects stay active. 

By imposing consequences for “unreasonably slow” progress, the government seeks to maintain momentum in the construction and redevelopment sectors, thus supporting ongoing efforts to revitalise and enhance local communities across the UK.

How Can Detailed Planning Help You With Your Next Project 

Detailed Planning can play a pivotal role in ensuring the success of your next development project. As a seasoned architectural and planning consultancy, we specialise in navigating the complexities of the planning process, offering bespoke guidance tailored to your specific needs. 

Our team of expert architects and planners brings a wealth of experience in obtaining planning permissions, adhering to local regulations, and aligning designs with aesthetic and functional requirements. 

Whether you’re looking to undertake a residential extension, a commercial development, or a complex regeneration project, Detailed Planning provides comprehensive support from initial concept to completion. 

By leveraging our expertise, you can streamline your project’s approval process, mitigate risks, and enhance overall project efficiency, ensuring a smooth and successful development journey.

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