Examination of Witnesses

Part of Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:40 pm on 23rd June 2022.

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Will Tanner:

First, thank you for having me. It is a very important question, and the Bill goes some way towards answering it. The Bill tries—if I may infer Ministers’ intentions from it—to establish a much greater level of strategic authority in the planning system to bring together different elements that are important for regeneration and economic development in local areas. That includes building some of the institutional framework in the form of both more and stronger mayoral combined authorities or equivalents in counties and giving them clearer incentives to intervene and bring land together with other forms of intervention—I point to the infrastructure levy in particular in that regard, not just at mayoral level but below—as well as creating much greater transparency in information to allow the system to work more effectively and generate more community buy-in. That is both at a national level through the levelling-up mission framework that the Bill sets out, setting a clear direction on where the levelling-up agenda is due to go, and more information for consumers of the planning system through the digital planning framework and, indeed, through greater powers to require information on behalf of local authorities such as owners of high street shops and other parties locally.