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What is the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill?
The Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill (now Act) focuses on providing better infrastructure in the areas and communities of the UK that are ‘left behind’. It is described as being shaped by the local people, building the ‘right homes in the right places’.
It aims to speed up the planning system and encourage councils to organise the construction of new homes. The Act will also hold developers to account and cut bureaucracy to ensure new developments are more attractive, shaped by locals, and include more infrastructure like surgeries, schools, and transport. Overall, the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill aims to create neighbourhoods people want to live and work in.
Local businesses will benefit, too. This Bill has made outdoor seating a permanent asset to help hospitality companies thrive. Also, the Bill aims to support regeneration in ‘left behind’ communities. Areas will be enhanced and transformed, bringing empty high streets back to life, as seen in Hull’s Fruit Market and Bradford’s Little Germany.
The Bill is committed to removing inequality through levelling-up projects in parts of the UK. The government has already invested £12.9 billion in supporting regeneration projects across the UK. This has improved transport, created new jobs, and protected community spaces. However, more levelling-up plans are on the horizon.
What Does the Levelling-up Bill Include?
The Levelling-Up Bill and Regeneration Bill contains 5 main measures:
There will be no more developments without community assets. The Levelling Up Bill ensures that schools, GP surgeries, and public services are provided and delivered as expected. No edge-of-town development will be lifeless and lacking vital infrastructure.
New-build homes will boost the housing supply. Local councils will also be able to increase council tax on empty properties.
Developers will be encouraged to build but to offer updates to communities on the construction progress. When approving plans, councils will also be able to consider the slow build-out rates.
Being people- and resident-driven makes it simpler for local areas to put development or regeneration plans in place. With this attitude, more homes will be delivered that are right for the communities.
Councils and landlords can work together to bring empty buildings back into use, whether for local businesses, community groups, or new homes.
The new Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill works in tandem with the Long-Term Plan for Towns, published on the 1st of October of this year. The government has chosen 55 towns in the UK to benefit from a levelling-up investment of £1.1 billion. These towns will each gain £20 million over 10 years in the style of an endowment fund. Of the 6 chosen towns in the North East, 10 in the North West, 4 in the West Midlands, 8 in Scotland, and 4 in Wales, each town board will develop a long-term plan to develop in areas needed.
The Long-Term Plan for Towns aims to correct issues around the public realm, anti-social behaviour, and transport. Regeneration projects will enhance town and city centres to make them more attractive and accessible. Improving streets, repurposing empty shops, creating green spaces, and running market days will not only unite communities but increase their economy and desirability. Such examples are already being seen in the likes of projects across Hull and Bradford. In these cities, such improvements are boosting resident pride. Their profiles are rising to destination cities and up-and-coming hotspots for tourism and property investment.
As for connections, improving infrastructure in towns not currently benefiting from such links directly with Network North’s ambition. Enhancing connections to, from, and within these areas makes travel easier for residents and opens more opportunities for local small businesses as tourism increases.
Off Plan Properties
Building new homes where they are most needed is the key part of the Levelling Up Plan. This way, properties will only be built where needed. Doing this progresses UK cities towards urban and sustainable living and protects our natural landscapes.
So far during this Parliament, the government is on track to deliver the 1 million homes stated in their manifesto. The Housing Secretary set out a long-term plan earlier this year for housing. This includes a £13.5 million investment from a boost to funding this summer. The Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill is at the heart of this long-term plan, and how the ‘right homes in the right places’ are built.
Off-plan properties are already some of the best property investments to make. Regeneration projects in general heighten an area’s desire and economy, which in turn increases its demand for housing. With the Levelling-up Bill now law, there will be a surge in new build developments. This means an abundance of off-plan properties. Whether converting empty buildings or constructing anew, below-market-value purchase prices are on offer, meaning instant equity once completed. One of the many benefits of off-plan opportunities.
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