In the Queen's Speech on Wednesday 11 May 2022 the Government set out a series of proposed reforms to the planning system through the Levelling-Up and Regeneration Bill. These have been ‘informed’ by the “responses to the Government’s 2020 White Paper ‘Planning for the Future’’.
The main planning proposals of interest to local councils are:
• The process for preparing local plans will be simplified and made quicker.
• More planning policies will be set nationally.
• Rules about notifying parish councils about planning applications affecting their area will be strengthened (they should be notified of all planning applications not just those submitted to the local planning authority).
• A locally-set, mandatory non-negotiable levy will replace S.106 Agreements and the Community Infrastructure Levy. The neighbourhood share (15% rising to 25% if the area is covered by a Neighbourhood Plan) of the new levy will be retained.
• Some aspects of neighbourhood planning will be amended and strengthened.
• A new neighbourhood planning tool will provide a simpler alternative to neighbourhood plans.
• A 'Street Votes' system will be introduced that would permit residents to propose development on their street and hold a vote on whether it should be given planning permission.
• The enforcement system will be strengthened.
• National, local and neighbourhood plans will be given more weight when making decisions on applications, so that there must be strong reasons to override them.
• Greater protection for heritage assets.
• Local authorities will have the discretion to introduce a council tax premium on second homes.
• More information about the Bill can be found at Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill Stages - Parliamentary Bills - UK Parliament