Source: The Planner
A Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill aimed at helping to build a ‘Northern Powerhouse’ and bringing “different parts of our country together” was announced in the Queen’s Speech.
The provisions outlined in the bill include an elected mayor for each combined authority’s area. The mayoralties would “enable local authority governance to be streamlined as agreed by councils”.
Alongside the Localism Act 2011, the Queen said the bill would enable the government to empower towns and cities, building on the coalition government’s Growth Deals.
A bill would also be introduced to support home ownership. The Housing Bill aims to help housing association tenants to buy their own home through the Right to Buy scheme, increase the supply of starter homes for first-time buyers under the age of 40, and ensure that “local people have more control over planning”.
A promise to introduce a register for brownfield land - as well as the simplification and speeding up of the neighbourhood planning system - also featured in the bill.
A bill for High Speed rail from London to the West Midlands was also been included in the Queen’s Speech. Legal powers to build and then operate phase one of the line have been provided in the bill.
Additionally, the bill allows the government to “compulsory acquire or temporarily take possession of land” needed for the scheme.
An Energy Bill states that changes will be made so that the secretary of state’s consent for wind farms of more than 50 megawatts won’t be needed. Instead, local planning authorities in England and Wales would be able to make decisions on wind farm planning applications. Changes highlighted in the Queen’s Speech will therefore be made to the National Planning Policy Framework to reflect this.
See more at: The Planner