The Housing and Planning Bill, a Bill intended to help speed up house building and home ownership, has received Royal Assent today after going through a period of parliamentary “ping-pong” whilst the House of Commons and the House of Lords sought to reach agreement on the Bill’s final shape.

Ministers had faced a race against time to get the Bill passed before the Queen’s Speech on 18th May – as failure to have met that deadline would have meant that the Bill would have needed to have been reintroduced in the next session of Parliament.

‘Starter homes’, ‘planning permission in principle’, ‘alternative processors of planning applications’ and ‘the determination of housing schemes as part of nationally significant infrastructure project applications’ will all represent a marked change to England’s planning framework which Developers, Planning Consultants and Local Authorities will all be carefully studying the implications of.

Whilst it is understood that the Housing and Planning Act will immediately allow regulations to be introduced providing for pilot schemes testing the use of alternative providers to process planning applications; setting timescales for neighbourhood planning decisions; and requiring Councils to keep registers of certain types of land – other provisions (including those relating to ‘starter homes’ and ‘permission in principle’) will take effect at a later date over the coming months, with some coming in via new future regulations.