For neighbourhood plans to no longer be considered out-of-date in areas where the local authority does not have a five-year housing land supply, protection for them has been increased.
Having said that, if there is a significant lack of land supply in the wider local authority area this can be re-considered.
Written in a ministerial statement, the move was explained, as well as being covered by Planning Minister Gavin Barwell during the report stage and third reading of the Neighbourhood Planning Bill in the Commons.
MPs were told the following by the minister:
“In the written ministerial statement, I made it clear that from yesterday, where communities plan for housing in their area in a neighbourhood plan, those plans should not be deemed out of date unless there is a significant lack of land supply —that is, under three years.
That applies to all plans for the next two years, and for the first two years of any plan that is put into place.
That will give a degree of protection that has not been available.
The message needs to go out clearly from this House that local authorities must get up-to-date plans in place to provide that protection for neighbourhood plans.
I hope that that reassures people.
As I said, I have written both to the Planning Inspectorate and to local councils on that issue.”
The passage in the Commons has been completed by the Bill, and is now to go to the for detailed examination.
From both the opposition or Conservative MPs, the government suffered no defeats on amendments.
Having said that, Conservative backbencher Andrew Mitchell used the proceedings in the Commons to repeat his irritation that Sajid Javid, (The Communities secretary) had lifted the holding direction on the Birmingham Development Plan.
Mitchel’s irritation stems from the fact that sites in green belt in his Sutton Coldfield constituency are to be released for housing and employment as part of the strategy.
Labor have made it clear that they feel that although the compulsory purchase order regime in the Bill are welcome, it does not go far enough and want a full-scale review.
Is being expected by the party that the Lords will be taking a critical look at the pre-commencement conditions and permitted development clauses in the Bill.
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