Localism Bill: MPs accept all Lords amendments

The Localism Bill last night completed its passage through Parliament after MPs voted to accept all the amendments made by peers in the House of Lords.

Last week, the flagship bill, which includes a raft of measures to reform the planning system, completed its third reading in the Lords.

Yesterday, MPs voted to accept all the amendments made to the bill in the House of Lords. No further amendments were made to the bill.

During the report stage of the bill in the House of Lords the government tabled a new amendment to the bill intended to ease fears that a controversial clause could undermine the long-held principle that planning permission cannot be "bought".

Other changes to the bill during its passage through the Lords included an amendment requiring business-led forums to take account of an area’s social, economic and environmental wellbeing and the removal of a flagship provision that would have allowed voters to trigger non-binding referendums on any subject.

Experts believe that the bill could now receive Royal Assent – and become the Localism Act - as soon as next week.

Speaking yesterday in the Commons, decentralisation minister Greg Clark told MPs: "For the best of a century, most bills that have passed through this House have taken power from communities and councils and given more power to central government, or in some cases to European government. This is an historic bill, not just for the measures it contains but for what it represents.

"It is about striking out in a different direction. Power should be held at the lowest possible level. We want this to be the first Parliament for many years that, by the end of its sessions, will have given power away."


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