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New powers give councils oversight over town planning regulations

Councils will receive new powers to help them deliver the homes that their communities need under proposed regulations.

Under the new rules, published by housing minister Dominic Raab, councils will be able to seek government approval to launch a New Town Development Corporation, responsible for delivering new towns and garden communities.

The bodies, which will be responsible for waste planning and project development, will be held accountable by councils and will be expected to involve communities in their projects.

Previously, New Town Development Corporations created by the housing, communities and local government remained accountable to the ministry of housing, communities and local government.

They will be led by teams made up of council representatives, community stakeholders, experts in delivering major projects and other partner organisations involved in the delivery of sites.

The measure forms part of the government’s planning reform and targeted funding to deliver 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s.

Commenting on the proposals, Raab explained: “We need to build the homes our communities need and I’m committed to giving councils the tools they need to deliver.

“That’s why we’re giving councils the option of applying to establish development corporations. These will be locally accountable and must listen to the views of the community to ensure that the right homes are built in the right places.”

Cllr Martin Tett, LGA housing spokesperson, said that it is “positive” that the government has listened to local communities’ views on local development corporations.

“We will continue to engage with the government to ensure that we can make the most of these new opportunities to deliver homes through local development corporations, and will continue to support the sector in efforts to deliver new homes.

“However, there is no quicker way to deliver these homes than by triggering the renaissance in council housebuilding we need, by lifting the housing borrowing cap and enabling councils to borrow to build once more,” he added.

The government is preparing to launch its new National Planning Policy Framework later this summer, which it says will streamline the system and allowing the delivery of the homes the country needs.


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