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• This note gives a short overview of some of the main planning parts of the Localism Bill 2010-12, as it leaves the House of Commons.

• The Bill will abolish regional planning, including regional housing targets. It does not contain the system designed to stimulate house building by allowing local authorities to retain council tax from new property – the New Homes Bonus system.

• The Bill will abolish the Infrastructure Planning Commission, so as to retain a system where the final decision on major infrastructure projects is taken by the Secretary of State.

• The Government wants a presumption in favour of sustainable development, but in planning guidance not on the face of the Bill.

• An amendment to create a community right of appeal was opposed by the Government and rejected in Committee.

• The Bill will place a duty to co-operate on local councils so as to achieve planning beyond local authority boundaries.

• A Government amendment will allow local planning authorities determining planning applications to take into account the amount of money to be received from new homes bonus, community infrastructure levy or planning obligations.

• The Bill will introduce a completely new neighbourhood planning regime.

• Government planning guidance – a major source of planning policy – is to be replaced by the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) early in 2012. A draft NPPF was published for consultation on 25 July 2011.

• Further details can be found in Research Papers prepared for the Commons Stages of the Bill, Localism Bill: Planning and Housing and Localism Bill: Committee Stage Report.

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