The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill is at the report stage within the House of Commons. A second sitting scheduled for 28 November has been postponed due to opposition from MPs regarding a clause making housing targets advisory rather than mandatory, and others who consider the targets unrealistic and draconian.

Key tabled amendments include:

  • 'Land banking' and failure to develop allocated land
  • Improving the environment and obligation on water companies to clean up rivers by upgrading wastewater treatment works
  • Giving residents ‘street votes’ to comment on simple changes such as extensions
  • Enhancing powers for mayors to support them to managing their key route networks and increase transport connectivity across their area
  • Enabling certain public bodies to charge for their statutory services to help deliver Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects to be delivered more quickly

The potential impact on public rights of way and access has not yet been determined, but there are grounds for considering that obstruction of or undesirable changes to rights of way could increase, particularly as authorities are under greater pressure to process applications quickly and lack monitoring and enforcement capacity.