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Housing and Planning Bill: Latest HoC briefing paper 07/01/2016

The House of Commons Library has issued a briefing paper on the passage of the Housing and Planning Bill through the Committee Stage of the Commons which you may find useful.


The House of Commons Library have issued a briefing paper on the passage of the Housing & Planning Bill through the Committee Stage of the Commons which ARCH members may find useful. 


The Bill was considered during at total of seventeen sittings of the Public Bill Committee between 10 November and 10 December 2015.


The Committee Report Stage and Third Reading took place on 5 January 2015 prior to the Bill passing to the Lords.  


Government amendments  


  • A number of government amendments to Part 2 of the Bill (Rogue landlords and letting agents in England) were agreed without Division, the most significant of which will make breach of a banning order a criminal offence.


  • A number of technical government amendments were made to parts 6 (Planning in England) and 7 of the Bill (compulsory purchase). A new clause and schedule were added to enable the Mayor of London or a combined authority to prepare a development plan document where a local authority had failed to make progress on such a document.


  • Controversial new clauses were also added to the Bill during the Committee's final day of consideration to prevent local authorities in England from offering secure tenancies for life in most circumstances. Instead, they will be able to offer fixed-term tenancies for a minimum of two years. Existing secure tenants will not lose their security of tenure.


  • New provisions were also added to amend the rights of certain family members to succeed to secure, introductory and demoted tenancies.


  • The Minister, Marcus Jones, said an impact assessment on these measures would be published before the Bill goes to the House of Lords.


  • Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods, Shadow Housing Minister, criticised the decision to bring these clauses before the Committee on its last day of deliberations.


  • Government Ministers agreed to consider various points raised during the Bill's consideration, including: the definition of affordable housing; the limits on financial penalties which will apply to private landlords in certain circumstances; and the question of legislating to introduce mandatory electrical checks in rented housing.


Opposition amendments


  • Opposition amendments were moved on most aspects of the Bill, none of which were successful although; as noted above, government ministers agreed to consider some of the points made and return to them on Report.


  • Throughout the Bill's consideration the opposition made the point that detailed scrutiny was hampered by a lack of information, such as how high-value council housing will be defined in different areas and how much money the government expects to raise from sales of this vacant high-value housing. The opposition called for early sight of regulations in which many of the detailed provisions will be contained.


View the full briefing.

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