The Neighbourhood Planning Bill 2016-17 was amended during its Committee stage in the House of Commons. A number of Government new clauses were added in relation to local plan making. This paper sets out the Government amendments and Opposition concerns about the Bill raised in Committee.Jump to full report >>
The Neighbourhood Planning Bill 2016-17 was considered during eight sittings of the Public Bill Committee between 18 and 27 October 2016. The Bill's Report Stage and Third Reading will be held on 13 December 2016. Full background on the Bill, and its provisions as originally presented, can be found in Library Briefing Paper Commons Library analysis of the Neighbourhood Planning Bill, 28 September 2016.
The aims of the Bill
The Government’s two “key aims” of the Bill are to:
A number of Government new clauses were added at Committee Stage in relation to development documents (local plan) making:
All of these new clauses were agreed without being pushed to division. Throughout the Committee stage the Government indicated that a number of new planning policies would be included in a forthcoming Housing White Paper, to be published later this year.
The most contentious clause in Committee was clause 7. It provides that pre-commencement planning conditions can only be used by local authorities where they have the written agreement of the developer. The Opposition disagreed with the rationale for the clause and argued that there was little evidence to support the suggestion that pre-commencement planning conditions delayed development. The shadow Minister moved an amendment to ensure that local authorities could still require “necessary” pre-commencement conditions for developers. The amendment was pushed to a division, as was the question on whether the clause should stand-part of the Bill. The amendment was defeated and the clause-stand part was agreed.
A number of Opposition new clauses were also discussed, including new clause 15 on allowing local authorities to have more discretion on setting their planning fees, which was defeated on division. New clause 14 proposed a Government review of permitted development rights granted since 2013, which was also defeated on division.
Commons Briefing papers CBP-7760
Author: Louise Smith