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The ARCH annual report for 2015-16 is now available to view.

 

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Queen’s Speech contains little on housing 26/05/2016

The government announced its legislative programme for the new Parliamentary session in the Queen's Speech at the State Opening of Parliament on 18 May.

 

The speech contained little on housing other than to reinforce the government's previous commitment to "support aspiration and promote home ownership through its commitment to build a million new homes".

 

No announcements were made on changes to the homelessness legislation, as was widely expected, however the speech did contain plans for two new Bills that will impact significantly on local government :

 

Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill

 

This Bill will introduce further reforms to the planning system. It will give local communities more power and control to shape their own area so that we build more houses and give everyone who works hard the chance to buy their own home. It will include:

 

  • measures to reform and speed up the planning process by minimising delays caused by pre-commencement planning conditions
  • a new statutory basis for the independent National Infrastructure Commission, to help invest in Britain's long-term future
  • streamlined processes supporting neighbourhoods to come together to agree plans that will decide where things get built in their local area.

 

Local Growth and Jobs Bill

 

This Bill will deliver the biggest change in local government finance for decades. It will give local authorities full control of the money they raise through business rates, so they can attract business and investment to their local areas. It will include:

 

  • a transfer of up to £13 billion to councils through allowing them to retain 100% of the business rates they collect
  • new measures to allow combined authority mayors to levy business rate supplements in order to fund infrastructure projects where there is the support of local business.

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