The Levelling-up and Regeneration Act 2023

The Levelling-up and Regeneration Act 2023 became law on 26 October 2023.

The website says that the new laws will;

…speed up the planning system, hold developers to account, cut bureaucracy, and encourage more councils to put in place plans to enable the building of new homes.

Over 500 pages, the Act covers a wide range of planning and infrastructure matters and a series of major reforms across the built and natural environment. However, it will require various secondary legislation and regulations for much of the implementation and detail. 

The Act aims to deliver long awaited planning reform, including giving communities input, to speed up the development of new housing, to regenerate high streets, and allowing letting by local authorities of vacant high-street premises. From a Real Estate point of view, the latter is particularly interesting and something for landlords and investors to be aware of.

The Act includes powers for local authorities to force landlords of empty commercial property, save for warehouses, to bring the property back to use via local authority rental auctions. The regime will apply to property in high streets/town centres, which has been unoccupied for the last 12 months or 366 days in a 2 year period, is suitable for high street use and is considered by the local authority to benefit the local economy, society or environment.

It will be interesting to see how the implementing regulations will look going forwards, how local authorities will react to their new powers and whether the Act meets its potential.

Posted on 11/08/2023 by Ortolan

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