Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013

The Growth and Infrastructure Bill finally received Royal Assent on 25 April. Amending existing legislation, it introduces a number of reforms that will affect the planning application process. The following main changes are made with immediate effect:

  • Certain ‘trigger’ events will now prevent land being registered as a town and village green. These ‘triggers’ include an application for planning application already submitted for development of the land in question. The right to register may revive where such planning permission expires or after rights of appeal against refusal have been exhausted.
  • The ability to reconsider economically unviable affordable housing provisions in Section 106 Agreements has been put on a formal statutory footing in England for an initial period of three years.
  • The proposed sweeping changes to residential permitted development rights have been watered down so that if a neighbour objects the LPA will have to consider whether it would have an ‘unacceptable impact’. It is noted that such rights of objection do not appear to extend to any other party (such as a local councillor).
  • It brings commercial and business development projects of national significance (and of a prescribed nature) within the Planning Act 2008 ‘development consent’ regime.

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