The Localism Bill has been published. The Society is making guidance available.
The Localism Bill involves a planning reform package which includes the abolition of regional strategies; a duty on local councils to co-operate; the introduction of the Community Infrastructure Levy and local plan-making reform including the new neighbourhood planning regime.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: "The Localism Bill will herald a ground-breaking shift in power to councils and communities overturning decades of central government control and starting a new era of people power. It is the centrepiece of what this Government is trying to do to fundamentally shake up the balance of power in this country. For too long, everything has been controlled from the centre - and look where it's got us. Central government has kept local government on a tight leash, strangling the life out of councils in the belief that bureaucrats know best. By getting out of the way and letting councils and communities run their own affairs we can restore civic pride, democratic accountability and economic growth - and build a stronger, fairer Britain. It's the end of the era of big government: laying the foundations for the Big Society."
Housing minister Grant Shapps said: "community-led developments won't need normal planning permission, but will instead need to pass the test of public opinion, and gain the support of more than half of voters in a local referendum. I hope this will prompt neighbourhoods up and down the country to consider the housing needs of their communities, and take up their right to build."