Lords call for reduction of Localism Bill
Peers have called on ministers to reduce the Localism Bill to make it easier for communities to take on more planning powers.
In a Localism Bill committee yesterday, Conservative peer Lord Jenkin said he had discussed the possibility of removing ‘top down micromanagement’ from the bill with decentralisation minister Greg Clark.
‘The government are trying to micromanage the whole process,’ he told peers yesterday. ‘I remember hearing my right honourable friend the secretary of state [Eric Pickles] proclaim that the localism legislation would be the end of top-down micromanagement. I just wonder how it has all crept into this bill in the way that it has.
‘[I hope amendments will] remove substantial chunks of the bill, leaving more to be decided by elected local authorities without the detailed prescription with which we have been furnished.’
Liberal Democrat Lord Greaves also expressed a wish to reduce the size of the bill.
The Lords debated neighbourhood planning at length, including the need to have a minimum number of people on neighbourhood forums, which would be responsible for producing neighbourhood plans.
Lord Best, former chief executive of the National Housing Federation, also discussed the need for neighbourhood plans to take design standards for housing into account, in order to produce the best possible homes.
The final day of the Localism Bill committee in the Lords is today. The bill will then move onto the report stage in the autumn.