Where is the so-called levelling up?

Wednesday, 11 May, 2022

Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill

Responding to publication of the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, South East Councils (SEC) said the lack of ambition was disappointing. 

SEC Chair, Cllr Nicolas Heslop said:

“Where is the ambitious Levelling Up approach we have been promised? Councils need to be empowered to address inequalities within the South East and allow local leaders to deliver what is needed for our communities.

“Moves to help more people take an active role in local planning decisions are welcome as well as the suggestion that a new infrastructure levy should be based on property value at point of sale, rather than when planning permission is granted. 

“However, changes proposed for the planning system pay lip service to the real issues – being felt by people across the South East who are already facing rising costs of living – by failing to adequately address the urgency to invest in housing both to rent and to buy.  

“There remains a crushingly slow delay in building new homes as developers and house builders continue to sit on planning consents as more people struggle to find an affordable place to live. 

“Local councils understand their own communities and should be fully empowered to retain developer contributions to invest in community infrastructure and have full influence to ensure the right homes are built in the right places.”

Notes to Editors:

  1. Cllr Heslop is available for interview. 
  2. With most local councils as members, South East Councils is a a cross-party membership association that works to ensure the South East is a great place to live, work and do business – www.secouncils.gov.uk
  3. SEC is an affiliate member of the Local Government Association.
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