Levelling-Up and Regeneration Act 2023 (LURA 2023): What It Means for Property Developers
It was announced on 26 October 2023 that the ‘Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill 2022-23′ received Royal Assent and will be now known as the ‘Levelling-up and Regeneration Act 2023 (LURA 2023)’.
BRM’s Real Estate Director James Alger has shared his insights into what this may mean for property developers
James said: “The UK government has stated that LURA 2023 is intended to implement their Levelling Up agenda by taking steps into bringing the country to become more buoyant and more aligned.
“It aims to tackle the regional and local inequalities that are holding back communities and is in place to try and encourage private sector investment across the UK.”
LURA 2023 impacts on planning, environmental, property, and public sector law.
James explains more:
“Amongst the more interesting takeaways for property developers and investors are the following:
- The reduction of the Community Infrastructure Levy in geographic terms to London and the implementation of a new Levy for the remainder of England which will be compulsory for all local authorities (unlike the presently optional CIL regime). Whilst the regulatory framework behind the new levy is to be finalised there is hope more flexibility will be permitted to allocate funds to third parties for the delivery of infrastructure.
- A formal commitment to devolution where there is a local appetite for it by 2030. This will hopefully allow a more localised decision-making process for many policies concerning development and real estate policy.
- The introduction of a national development management policy will lead to the creation of a national policy standard against which planning applications must be determined. This will make it more difficult to achieve planning consent where the application is contrary to the development plan but will hopefully allow national developers confidence of a consistency of approach across England.
- Local planning authorities will now be able to issue temporary stop notices for listed buildings akin to those issued under the planning permission regime. This may serve to frustrate some proposed developments involving listed buildings.
- A new duty is introduced to planning authorities to have special regard to the preservation or enhancement of specified heritage assets for plan-making and decision taking. On one hand this will hopefully encourage developers to create strategies around existing heritage assets but could serve as an additional step to overcome where heritage assets form a small part of a wider delivery.
- Street development orders will allow certain classes to be permitted without a specific planning application being made.
- A new planning application to vary existing applications in respect of “material variations” is to be introduced to plug an existing gap between the well-established minor material amendment process under the Section 73 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and a full application.
- A new obligatory step for developers to serve commencement notices in respect of developments in a similar vein to mechanisms utilised within Section 106 obligations the Community Infrastructure Levy process will be introduced.
- The abolition of the “four year rule” for breaches will mean the ten year rule will apply in all cases and “Enforcement Warning Notices” will permit LPA’s on a discretionary basis to undertake a pre-step warning prior to commencing proceedings in cases where an application is encouraged to be submitted to avoid the need for more formal enforcement action.”
For guidance and advice around how LURA 2023 may affect your development proposals contact our Real Estate team:
Director, Real Estate Department