Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013 gains Royal Assent

The successful passing of the government’s flagship growth legislation is set to bring about a number of key changes to the planning system, including major reforms in terms of how applications are determined and discharged by local planning authorities.

Under the new Act there will be a three-year ‘window’ within which developers will be able to renegotiate section 106 agreements that have made a scheme economically unviable. The Department for Communities and Local Government expects that the new measures will jump-start developments including around 75,000 new homes that are currently stalled because the schemes are no longer viable.

Where local authorities have been placed in a ‘special measures’ category because they have consistently failed to consider planning applications on time, developers will be able to submit planning applications directly to the Planning Inspectorate for determination. The Act also includes measures to simplify the planning system including a limit on the information a local authority can require to be submitted alongside a planning application.