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What is The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill

Long-anticipated legislation, the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, and new chances to help nature recover, were announced on Wednesday in the Queen’s Speech. An infrastructure levy, faster local plan preparation, and revisions to environmental assessments are among the promises in a new Levelling Up & Regeneration Bill.

The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill will provide local authorities with the powers they need to regenerate and revitalise town centres up and down the UK.

Local authorities will be allowed to force landlords to rent out commercial premises under new laws, which now allow stores to sit unoccupied for years. No one likes to walk up and down a half empty high street and see boarded up commercial units, and it seems the government also agrees with this.

Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill - Legislation

Councils will be granted more authority to repurpose vacant or abandoned properties for their own use and the benefit of their residents, such as turning them into flourishing companies, community gathering places, or places to live. These powers will, it is hoped, breathe fresh new life into lagging communities where landlords have neglected to do anything with their properties.

Jamie Jonson, CEO of FJP Investment, said: “The government’s initiative in helping to regenerate the UK high street represents an important move in investing in Britain’s competitive future.”

Comments from Boris Johnson

“High streets up and down the country have long been blighted by derelict shopfronts, because they’ve been neglected, stripping opportunity from local areas.

We are putting that right by placing power back in the hands of local leaders and the community so our towns can be rejuvenated, levelling up opportunity and restoring neighbourhood pride.”

The British Retail Consortium has revealed that the number of boarded-up and decaying stores blighting high streets and sapping the vitality of once-bustling town centres has risen to one in seven, with one in five in the northeast. Given these stark statistics, it’s easy to see why the government is planning to step in to stem the decay.

With mandatory rental auctions, landlords will have to rent out properties that have been empty for over a year to qualified tenants.

As a result of the move, new businesses and community groups will be able to do well. This will lead to more jobs, a stronger local economy, and a new sense of community confidence.

Comments from Michael Gove MP, Levelling Up Secretary

“By empowering local communities to rent out shops which have been sitting empty for a year or longer, we will end the scourge of boarded up shops that have blighted some of our great towns across the country for far too long.

“These measures will breathe new life into high streets, transforming once-bustling communities into vibrant places to live and work once again and restoring local pride as we level up across the country.”

Councils will also get “compulsory purchase orders,” which will make it easier for them to use their power to build homes and infrastructure in their communities.

Compulsory Purchase Orders have been described by the government as a “legal mechanism by which certain bodies (known as ‘acquiring authorities’) can acquire land without the consent of the owner. Compulsory purchase powers can support the delivery of a range of development, regeneration and infrastructure projects in the public interest. In doing so, they can help to bring about improvements to social, economic, and environmental wellbeing.”

Regeneration initiatives may include purchasing land to develop social housing, among other projects deemed necessary for regenerative purposes.

The Banstead and Reigate council has used this power to turn a former car park in Redhill, Surrey, into a new cinema, shops, and recreational facilities, as well as homes, much to the delight of the people who live there.

Pavement licensing red tape will be permanently abolished to help lively high streets and communities thrive, allowing businesses to serve meals out in the open and draw customers all year round.

During the epidemic, restaurants, pubs, and bars were given temporary permission to serve customers on the sidewalks. This helped keep from losing too many tables due to social distance rules.

Allowing companies to support local economies and inject life into local communities will be made permanent under the new law.

The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill was made as a follow-up to the government’s landmark Levelling Up White Paper, which outlined ways to change the UK by spreading opportunity and wealth across the country.

A further £1.7 billion in temporary business rates relief will be provided by the UK government in 2022–23 for up to 400,000 retail, hotel, and leisure premises to help the high street get back on its feet in the wake of the pandemic.

High Street Task Force

Local communities can expect to continue receiving support in various ways from the High Street Task Force in rejuvenating high streets in accordance with local needs. This Task Force has a stated goal of being an “alliance of place making experts working to redefine the high street. We provide guidance, tools and skills to help communities, partnerships and local government transform their high streets.”

At least 84 local governments have already gotten help from the programme in areas like planning and making places more appealing.

More than 150 experts, mentors, and facilitators have been hired by the High Streets Task Force to help towns and communities in England deal with the difficulties they face.

Their Register of Experts, Mentors, and Facilitators was a proposal of the High Street 2030 Review, which asked for increased capacity to help local governments in rejuvenating their high streets. Experts, mentors, and facilitators who are part of the Task Force initiative will provide direct help for high streets.

The Task Force has partnered with the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), the Landscape Institute, the Design Council, and the Institute of Place Management in order to assure the highest standards and the largest spectrum of experience in high-street transformations. With the help of these national groups, the Task Force was able to find 42 different areas of expertise. This makes sure that the advice given to high streets comes from people who know what they


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