Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities supports communities across the UK to thrive, making them great places to live and work.



Secretary of State

 Portrait

Greg Clark
Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

Shadow Ministers / Spokeperson
Labour
Lisa Nandy (LAB - Wigan)
Shadow Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing, Communities & Local Government
Baroness Hayman of Ullock (LAB - Life peer)
Shadow Spokesperson (Levelling Up, Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Lord Khan of Burnley (LAB - Life peer)
Shadow Spokesperson (Levelling Up, Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Baroness Wheeler (LAB - Life peer)
Shadow Spokesperson (Levelling Up, Housing, Communities and Local Government)

Liberal Democrat
Tim Farron (LDEM - Westmorland and Lonsdale)
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

Plaid Cymru
Ben Lake (PC - Ceredigion)
Shadow PC Spokesperson (Housing, Communities & Local Government)

Scottish National Party
Patricia Gibson (SNP - North Ayrshire and Arran)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

Liberal Democrat
Baroness Pinnock (LDEM - Life peer)
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Levelling Up, Communities and Local Government)
Baroness Thornhill (LDEM - Life peer)
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Housing)
Junior Shadow Ministers / Deputy Spokesperson
Labour
Sarah Owen (LAB - Luton North)
Shadow Minister (Levelling Up, Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Alex Norris (LAB - Nottingham North)
Shadow Minister (Levelling Up, Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Matthew Pennycook (LAB - Greenwich and Woolwich)
Shadow Minister (Levelling Up, Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Ministers of State
Lord Harrington of Watford (CON - Life peer)
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
Paul Scully (CON - Sutton and Cheam)
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
Marcus Jones (CON - Nuneaton)
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State
Lia Nici (CON - Great Grimsby)
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
Eddie Hughes (CON - Walsall North)
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
Scheduled Event
Monday 12th September 2022
14:30
Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities
Oral questions - Main Chamber
12 Sep 2022, 2:30 p.m.
Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (including Topical Questions)
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Debates
None available
Select Committee Docs
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Select Committee Inquiry
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Written Answers
Tuesday 2nd August 2022
Families
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay on 23 March (HL Deb …
Secondary Legislation
Friday 15th July 2022
Home Loss Payments (Prescribed Amounts) (England) Regulations 2022
These Regulations prescribe the maximum and minimum amount of home loss payments payable in England under section 30(1) of the …
Bills
Monday 5th July 2021
Building Safety Act 2022
A Bill to make provision about the safety of people in or about buildings and the standard of buildings, to …
Dept. Publications
Wednesday 10th August 2022
09:30

Statistics
Treaty
None available

Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities Commons Appearances

Oral Answers to Questions is a regularly scheduled appearance where the Secretary of State and junior minister will answer at the Dispatch Box questions from backbench MPs

Other Commons Chamber appearances can be:
  • Urgent Questions where the Speaker has selected a question to which a Minister must reply that day
  • Adjornment Debates a 30 minute debate attended by a Minister that concludes the day in Parliament.
  • Oral Statements informing the Commons of a significant development, where backbench MP's can then question the Minister making the statement.

Westminster Hall debates are performed in response to backbench MPs or e-petitions asking for a Minister to address a detailed issue

Written Statements are made when a current event is not sufficiently significant to require an Oral Statement, but the House is required to be informed.


Bills currently before Parliament

Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities does not have Bills currently before Parliament


Acts of Parliament created in the 2019 Parliament


A Bill to make provision about the safety of people in or about buildings and the standard of buildings, to amend the Architects Act 1997, and to amend provision about complaints made to a housing ombudsman.

This Bill received Royal Assent on 28th April 2022 and was enacted into law.


A Bill to make provision about the administration and conduct of elections, including provision designed to strengthen the integrity of the electoral process; about overseas electors; about voting and candidacy rights of EU citizens; about the designation of a strategy and policy statement for the Electoral Commission; about the membership of the Speaker's Committee; about the Electoral Commission's functions in relation to criminal proceedings; about financial information to be provided by a political party on applying for registration; for preventing a person being registered as a political party and being a recognised non-party campaigner at the same time; about regulation of expenditure for political purposes; about disqualification of offenders for holding elective offices; about information to be included in electronic campaigning material; and for connected purposes.

This Bill received Royal Assent on 28th April 2022 and was enacted into law.


A Bill to make provision about the rent payable under long leases of dwellings; and for connected purposes

This Bill received Royal Assent on 8th February 2022 and was enacted into law.


A Bill to make provision about matters attributable to coronavirus that may not be taken account of in making certain determinations for the purposes of non-domestic rating; and to make provision in connection with the disqualification of directors of companies that are dissolved without becoming insolvent.

This Bill received Royal Assent on 15th December 2021 and was enacted into law.


A Bill to confer relief from non-domestic rates for hereditaments in England and Wales

This Bill received Royal Assent on 29th April 2021 and was enacted into law.


A Bill to make provision to change the dates on which non-domestic rating lists must be compiled; and to change the dates by which proposed lists must be sent to billing authorities, the Secretary of State or the Welsh Ministers.

This Bill received Royal Assent on 15th March 2021 and was enacted into law.

Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities - Secondary Legislation

These Regulations prescribe the maximum and minimum amount of home loss payments payable in England under section 30(1) of the Land Compensation Act 1973 (c. 26) (the “Act”) and the amount payable under section 30(2) of the Act.
This instrument amends the Non-Domestic Rating (Transitional Protection Payments) Regulations 2013 (“the TPP Regulations”) and the Non-Domestic Rating (Rates Retention) Regulations 2013 (“the Rates Retention Regulations”).
View All Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities Secondary Legislation

Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Trending Petitions
Petitions with most signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

During the coronavirus outbreak it is important that people have money for essentials such as utilities and food. The Government should require councils to suspend council tax payments, and directly fund local government operations, for the duration of the outbreak.

Mark Allen, aged 18, drowned after jumping into a freezing reservoir on a hot day in June 2018.

In May 2019 we watched whilst 3 throwlines were installed where he died.

Mark could have possibly been saved if they were in place beforehand.

View All Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities Petitions

Departmental Select Committee

Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee

Commons Select Committees are a formally established cross-party group of backbench MPs tasked with holding a Government department to account.

At any time there will be number of ongoing investigations into the work of the Department, or issues which fall within the oversight of the Department. Witnesses can be summoned from within the Government and outside to assist in these inquiries.

Select Committee findings are reported to the Commons, printed, and published on the Parliament website. The government then usually has 60 days to reply to the committee's recommendations.



50 most recent Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department

21st Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay on 23 March (HL Deb col 955), whether the remit of the Children’s Commissioner’s Family Review includes action to prevent family breakdown.

The Children's Commissioner for England's independent review on family life explores how to improve the way public services understand the needs of children and families, so every child has the best start in life and the opportunity to reach their full potential.

The review involves extensive engagement with children and families from different backgrounds and locations across England, to understand their lives and what they value in family life. It will look at families' experiences, how they seek and gain support and look to better understand the prevalence of familial breakdown and how best to support children and families going through this. The review will also engage with local services, communities and other key stakeholders.

The Office of the Children's Commissioner aims to publish a report on the review by Spring 2023.

Lord Harrington of Watford
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
20th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the size of the private rented housing sector; and whether their policy is to decrease that size.

The proportion of households living in the private rented sector (PRS) has remained relatively stable over the past decade. The English Housing Survey shows that in 2012-13, the PRS accounted for 18% of households in England. In 2015-16, this increased slightly to 20%, decreasing slightly to 19% in 2019-20, and remaining stable at 19% households in 2020-21.

Most people want to buy their own home one day and the government is firmly committed to helping Generation Rent to become Generation Buy. However, we also appreciate that this is not everyone's aspiration and that there are many people for whom renting a home is either a more practical or more affordable option. The PRS remains an important part of the housing market for the 4.4 million households who live there.

The recent White Paper, 'A Fairer Private Rented Sector', sets out how the government will deliver a fairer, more secure, and higher quality PRS. The reforms are designed to provide good landlords with the support they need, and to make sure they have the confidence to continue operating in the market. We will continue to talk to landlords, local councils and other interested groups while monitoring the impact of our reforms on the sector.

The government also strongly supports the expansion of the Build to Rent (BtR) market. BtR boosts housing supply, diversifies the private rental sector and increases quality and choice for renters in cities and towns across England. To support this, we have revised the National Planning Policy Framework and issued a new chapter of planning guidance to support the delivery of more BtR homes, including affordable rental homes.

Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
20th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made, if any, of the demand for homes for private rent.

The English Housing Survey provides information on housing stock. There was an expansion in the proportion of Private Rented Sector households from 2008 which peaked in 2017. Although there has been a slight downward trend since 2017, the proportion has remained relatively stable for nearly a decade at around 19% to 20%.

Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
20th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they will take to make the provision of long-term homes for private rent more appealing than supplying holiday lets.

The sharing economy has brought many benefits to the tourism sector and wider economy, as well as creating an additional income stream for homeowners. However, we recognise that the increase in short-term letting has also prompted some concerns. These include the impact on the housing market and local communities particularly from those living in our most popular tourist destinations.

The Government committed in the Tourism Recovery Plan, published in June last year, to consult on a possible Short Term Accommodation Registration Scheme in England. A call for evidence as the first stage of that consultation process was published on 29 June and runs until 21 September. We will listen carefully to what local people and affected stakeholders have to say to make sure we respond appropriately with evidence-based policy proposals.

Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
20th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the total (1) number, and (2) proportion, of households in England in the private rented sector in each year since 2017.

The English Housing Survey collects data on number and proportion of households in each tenure and publishes this every year in our Headline Report, with details at Annex Table 1.1.

The totals for the private rented sector from 2017 are as follows:
2016-17: 4,692,000 households; 20.3% of households
2017-18: 4,530,000 households; 19.5% of households
2018-19: 4,552,000 households; 19.3% of households
2019-20: 4,438,000 households; 18.7% of households
2020-21: 4,434,000 households; 18.5% of households

Lord Harrington of Watford
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to consult on the Decent Homes Standard; and if so, when that consultation will be launched.

We are committed to drive up standards in private rented accommodation, and we will be consulting in due course on introducing a legally binding Decent Homes Standard in the private rented sector.

Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
15th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what impact assessment they have carried out on proposals to strengthen tenants' rights on the stock of private homes available to rent.

We will publish an impact assessment as the Bill passes through Parliament, which will set out the costs and benefits and overall impact on the sector including both tenants and landlords. Our White Paper is based on a balanced package of reforms that support both tenants and landlords, drawing from the experience of reforms in other parts of the United Kingdom.

Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
15th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they made (1) to inform their plans for a no-let period of three months, after an eviction for sale, and (2) of whether this is long enough to deter unscrupulous landlords from abusing the grounds for sale.

The Government is clear that misuse of the new grounds of possession and any attempt to find loopholes within our reforms will not be tolerated. We are engaging widely with stakeholders to assess the impact of our enforcement proposals and consider what action is necessary to prevent landlords misusing grounds for possession.

Where a landlord wishes to gain possession to sell their property, they will need to be prepared to provide evidence in court to prove that this is their intention. Introducing a ban on re-marketing and re-letting will allow tenants to more easily demonstrate misuse of the grounds – they can, for example, show that a property has been marketed online. Our assessment is that a three-month restriction acts as an additional deterrent by increasing the costs of misusing a ground substantially and is likely sufficient to prevent a rogue landlord from profiting by immediately re-letting the property at a higher rent. However, we recognise that landlords’ circumstances can legitimately change and the three-month restriction provides a balanced and proportionate approach, ensuring that good landlords are not unfairly burdened if this happens.

The three-month restriction is one part of a comprehensive approach to enforcing the new tenancy regime. Other proposals include giving local authorities the powers to issue fines to landlords and allowing tenants to seek redress through a new Ombudsman covering all private landlords.

Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
19th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of UK homes have an energy efficiency performance rating of (1) A, or (2) B.

The energy efficiency of housing in the UK is reported separately by each Administration. In 2020-21 2.9% of the English housing stock had an energy efficiency rating of A or B. In 2019 4% of the Scottish housing stock had an energy efficiency rating of A or B.

The proportion of housing in Wales and Northern Ireland with an energy efficiency rating of A or B is not reported.

Lord Harrington of Watford
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they made (1) to inform their plans for two-month eviction periods to be set out in the upcoming Renters Reform Bill, and (2) of whether this is sufficient notice for a family with children in school to find a new home in their local area.

The Government is committed to delivering a fairer and more effective rental market that works for both tenants and landlords. As set out in our 'A Fairer Private Rented Sector' White Paper, the Government has committed to ending Section 21 no fault evictions. At the same time, we will reform the grounds for evictions to ensure that landlords are able to get possession of their properties when they need to, these reforms will include mandatory grounds for if a landlord wishes to sell or move into the property with two months’ notice periods. To protect tenants' security, landlords will not be able to use these grounds in the first six months of a tenancy and to prevent misuse they will not be able to relet the property in the 3 months following the end of the tenancy.

The notice period we are proposing balances the needs of both tenants and landlords, giving tenants and their families time to find a new home while ensuring landlords can manage their assets when they need to do so. However, we encourage landlords to work flexibly with their tenants and notify them of their intentions as far in advance as possible. We encourage tenants who receive notice to consider their options as soon as possible and to contact their local authority if they are at risk of homelessness.

Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
14th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the letter from the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to the Lord Speaker, dated 13 May, represents Government policy.

The Government is clear that it is up to the House of Lords to decide where they wish to be located, including during any potential decant of Parliament. The previous Secretary of State said in his letter that he would welcome the House of Lords playing a role in the levelling up agenda and he suggested a number of illustrative options.

The freehold of the QEII Conference Centre is held by the Secretary of State. The Restoration and Renewal programme is currently being reshaped. Tangentially, the department is taking steps to deliver clarity for the commercial users of the Centre, and good outcomes for the British taxpayer.

Lord Harrington of Watford
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
18th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the upcoming Renter's Reform Bill will include a cost cap for bringing homes up to the Decent Homes Standard, like there is with the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard.

We are continuing to develop the policy on introducing a decent homes standard in the private rented sector and will consider the potential for cost caps as part of our consultation and engagement with stakeholders.

Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
15th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what kind of proof a landlord will be obliged to provide to prove that they intend to sell or move themselves or families back into a property, under plans to be set out in the Renters Reform Bill.

Where landlords want to use the new moving or selling grounds to seek possession, they will need to be prepared to prove their intention in a court. We will share further guidance on what evidence could be used to demonstrate their intent in due course, and will consider how to ensure this is as simple as possible while protecting tenants from unlawful eviction.

We encourage landlords to communicate with tenants about their intentions early, and share evidence where possible, to avoid unnecessary disputes about the legitimacy of eviction notices arising. Tenants may wish to request further information from their landlord or seek independent advice.

We are clear that attempts to misuse these grounds are unacceptable, and we will restrict landlords from remarketing or reletting the property within three months of using these grounds.

Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
18th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, under the proposed changes to possession in the Renters’ Reform Bill, renters can be evicted every eight months with the new grounds due to no fault of their own.

The Government is committed to delivering a fairer and more effective rental market that works for both tenants and landlords. We will deliver the manifesto commitment to end Section 21 evictions; this will mean that a landlord will only be able to evict their tenants in specific circumstances defined in law and they must be prepared to provide evidence of this in court. Under our proposals, landlords will be able to get possession of their properties when they need to, these reforms will include mandatory grounds for if a landlord wishes to sell or move into the property with two months’ notice periods. To protect tenants’ security, landlords will not be able to use these grounds in the first six months of a tenancy. Our reforms strike the right balance between improving security for tenants and ensuring landlords continue to feel confident in the market.

Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
15th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the future demand for homes to rent.

The English Housing Survey provides information on housing stock. The proportion of Private Rented Sector (PRS) households has remained relatively stable for nearly a decade. The PRS was 19% of stock in 2013-14, increased to 20% in 2015-16 and 2016-17 and then went back to 19% thereafter.

We continue to monitor the Office for National Statistics rental price statistics as an indicator of demand and will evaluate the impact of the private rented reforms on the sector.

Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
18th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment, if any, they have made of the findings of the report by the National Association of Local Councils, What can local councils do on climate change?, published on 25 October 2021.

Town and parish councils have an important role in improving the well-being of their communities and helping them overcome challenges, including climate change. The Government welcomes the 2021 report by the National Association of Local Councils (NALC), who we meet regularly with at a ministerial and official level.

The Levelling Up White Paper outlines the UK Government’s plans to set up a Neighbourhood Governance Review to examine the effectiveness of current arrangements and make it easier for local people and community groups to come together to set local priorities and shape the future of their neighbourhoods. As the membership body for parish councils, NALC will be a key stakeholder of this work.

Lord Harrington of Watford
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what impact assessment they have carried out on the proposals to extend the Right to Buy of housing association properties on the availability of associations' (1) stock, and (2) homes to rent.

This Government is committed to the Right to Buy, which has helped nearly two million social housing tenants to realise their dream of home ownership.

We want housing association tenants to have the same opportunity as local authority tenants and to be able to enjoy the benefits that homeownership brings. That is why the Prime Minister announced on the 9 June 2022 the intention to extend the Right to Buy to housing association tenants.

We will work closely with the housing association sector on the design of the scheme, including consideration of the impact on housing association stock levels and their balance sheets. We will make sure that the scheme is designed in a way that enables the homes sold to be replaced one-for-one, and we will produce a full impact assessment of this policy in due course, ahead of the scheme’s introduction.

Lord Harrington of Watford
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
18th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what additional funds they will make available to Housing Associations to enable them (1) to increase their stock of properties ahead of proposals on extending Right-to-Buy, and (2) to offset the impact on their balance sheets.

This Government is committed to the Right to Buy, which has helped nearly two million social housing tenants to realise their dream of home ownership.

We want housing association tenants to have the same opportunity as local authority tenants and to be able to enjoy the benefits that homeownership brings. That is why the Prime Minister announced on the 9 June 2022 the intention to extend the Right to Buy to housing association tenants.

We will work closely with the housing association sector on the design of the scheme, including consideration of the impact on housing association stock levels and their balance sheets. We will make sure that the scheme is designed in a way that enables the homes sold to be replaced one-for-one, and we will produce a full impact assessment of this policy in due course, ahead of the scheme’s introduction.

Lord Harrington of Watford
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have for (1) ministers, and (2) officials, to visit parish and town councils to improve their understanding of the councils’ work and challenges.

Ministers and officials regularly visit communities across the UK, to hear from a range of voices from all tiers of government, the public and private sectors, and community and voluntary groups

In the Levelling Up White Paper the UK Government committed to a Review of Neighbourhood Governance, including the role and functions of parish councils. This will look at how to make it easier for local people to come together to set local priorities and shape the future of their neighbourhoods. As part of this work, we will want to hear from a range of parish councils about their work and the challenges they face.

Lord Harrington of Watford
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what sector support funding for local government improvement they have provided through a grant directly to (1) the Local Government Association, and (2) the National Association of Local Councils, in the financial years (a) 2019–20, (b) 2020–21, (c) 2021–22, and (d) 2022–23.

DLUHC granted the Local Government Association £19.2 million in 2019-20, £19.2 million in 2020-21, £18.8 million in 2021-22 and £18 million in 2022-23, to deliver local government sector support programmes.

No sector support grants for local government improvement were provided by DLUHC to the National Association of Local Councils during this period.

The Levelling Up White Paper outlines the UK Government's commitment to establish a Neighbourhood Governance Review. This will explore the current effectiveness of neighbourhood governance models and how they can be strengthened, including the role of town and parish councils.

Lord Harrington of Watford
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to work with the National Association of Local Councils (1) to raise public awareness of parish and town council elections in 2023, and (2) to encourage more people to stand for election to improve the diversity of councillors.

Elections are essential for good local democracy. Parish and town council elections are delivered by the principal local authorities for their areas, who will communicate with local electorates on forthcoming elections as they consider appropriate. They are supported in this by the independent Electoral Commission, who, as well as running national awareness campaigns, produce resources and materials to improve public understanding of all elections, available for use by local authorities


As part of a forthcoming Review of Neighbourhood Governance announced in the Levelling Up White Paper, we will be reviewing the effectiveness of current neighbourhood governance including parish and town councils. Through the review, we want to make it easier for people to participate and shape the future of their neighbourhoods.

Lord Harrington of Watford
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they plan to launch the review of neighbourhood governance referred to on page 215 of their Levelling Up the United Kingdom white paper, published on 2 February.

As set out in the Levelling Up White Paper, the UK Government is committed to making it easier for local people to come together to set local priorities and improve their places. The Review of Neighbourhood Governance in England will examine the effectiveness of current arrangements including the role and functions of parish councils, and how to make them quicker and easier to establish. As part of the review, we will engage with communities and representative bodies. Further detail on plans for the review will be made available in due course.

Lord Harrington of Watford
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
18th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to unlock private investment in coastal communities not covered by a freeport.

My Government places great emphasis on ensuring Coastal Communities are at the forefront of the Levelling Up agenda. Our £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund will invest in every part of the UK, including coastal areas and I am keen to see bids come forward from coastal communities in the second round of the Fund. Regeneration and Infrastructure projects - which have the potential to boost private investment - will be a key focus of this work

Furthermore, the UK Shared Prosperity Fund will provide £2.6 billion of investment across the whole of the United Kingdom by 2025, with building pride in place, including in coastal communities, a key theme of the Fund's work. Every coastal community in the UK will receive an allocation and places will be empowered to identify and build on their own strengths and needs at a local level

Levelling Up funding will unlock the potential of coastal communities by regenerating town centres and getting infrastructure match fit, making coastal communities a more attractive place to do business and boosting private investment.

Lord Harrington of Watford
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether his Department has had discussions with Scotfield Ltd about unsafe cladding at the Gateway Building in Leeds.

The department has not held discussions with Scotfield Ltd about unsafe cladding at The Gateway Building in Leeds. The Government is providing £5.1 billion, including £4.5 billion from the Building Safety Fund, to address the fire safety risks caused by unsafe cladding on high-rise residential buildings.

The Gateway Building has applied to the Building Safety Fund and has been allocated £1.9 million upfront funding for pre-tender support to help get the remediation project out-to-tender. The overall expected cost of the remediation project at the Gateway Building to be funded by the Building Safety Fund is estimated at £16 million.

Marcus Jones
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
18th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of private renters who pay (1) energy bills, and (2) council tax, as part of their rent.

The English Housing Survey provides information on the number of private renting households who pay energy bills or council tax as part of their rent. In 2021, 162,000 households, or 3.7% of private renting households, pay their electricity bills as part of their rent; 131,000 households (3%) pay their gas bills as part of their rent; and 120,000 households (2.8%) have their council tax included as part of their rent.

Lord Harrington of Watford
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
18th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of how many private renters will not receive the one-off £150 energy rebate payment because the rebate money is paid directly to their landlord and not to the tenant.

Councils are expected to pay the council tax rebate to the occupants of an eligible property, not the landlord. Where a landlord of an eligible property usually pays the council tax as part of the rental agreement, the Government has asked councils to agree a payment method directly with the tenant.

Lord Harrington of Watford
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the stock of private homes available to rent following changes to regulations regarding buy-to-let accommodation.

Since 2010, there have been a range of policy changes affecting private landlords. These include tax changes for buy-to-let landlords, changes to the Stamp Duty Land Tax, tightening lending criteria on buy-to-let mortgages and the growing role of the build-to-rent sector.

The Private Rented Sector remains an important part of the housing market, with 4.4 million households currently in the Private Rented Sector. The proportion of PRS households has remained relatively stable for nearly a decade, as evidenced through the English Housing Survey. According to the English Private Landlord Survey (2021) over half (57%) of landlords had a buy-to-let mortgage, representing 68% of tenancies, indicating that buy-to-let landlords continue to invest.

Lord Harrington of Watford
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of increasing housing density for the purposes of reducing the requirement to build new homes on greenfield sites.

This Government strongly encourages the efficient and effective use of land. Our National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) already sets out that planning policies and decisions should promote an effective use of land and make as much use as possible of previously-developed land in meeting the need for homes and other uses, while safeguarding and improving the environment, and ensuring safe and healthy living conditions.

The NPPF sets out that local plans should establish density standards for city and town centres which seek a significant uplift in density in those areas. Furthermore the NPPF is clear that where there is a shortage of land for meeting housing needs, it is especially important that planning policies and decisions avoid homes being built at low densities and that developments make optimal use of the potential of each site.

We have introduced a number of measures to support increased density including new permitted development rights to allow more buildings to be extended upwards to create new homes, and to make it easier for existing buildings to be converted to residential use. This will further support residential densification while avoiding the need to build on other types of land.

We are also bringing forward further reforms to support density through the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, including a duty for local authorities to produce design codes to help shape the design of their area, giving greater certainty to communities and developers. In addition ‘Street Votes’ will incentivise communities to consider the potential for development and support a gentle increase in densities through well-designed and locally supported proposals.

Marcus Jones
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps his Department is taking to encourage local authorities to provide playgrounds that are accessible for children with disabilities.

Through our national design guidance we encourage public spaces, including play areas, to be designed in an accessible and inclusive way.

The Local Government Finance Settlement makes available £54.1 billion in 2022/23 for local government in England, an increase of up to £3.7 billion on 2021/22. The majority of this funding is un-ringfenced in recognition of local authorities being best placed to understand local priorities, such as local playgrounds.

Marcus Jones
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
18th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what the Government's plans are for supporting Ukrainians who have been rehoused through the Homes for Ukraine scheme after six months.

I refer the Hon Member to the answer to Question UIN 30150 on 11 July 2022.

Marcus Jones
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
18th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what representations he has received from landlords of HMO student accommodation on the potential impact of the Renters Reform Bill on their properties.

In July 2019, the Department published a consultation - ‘A New Deal for Renting’ , on the implications of removing assured shorthold tenancies, which included a question on student accommodation. 19,697 consultation responses in total were received from a range of individuals and organisations. Since then, the department has used consultation feedback and extensive stakeholder engagement to understand the impact of proposals in the forthcoming Renters Reform Bill, including on the availability and supply of student accommodation in the private rented sector. We will continue to consider the impact of our reforms as we move towards legislation and will publish a full impact assessment in due course.

Marcus Jones
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
18th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will make it his policy to ensure that students in houses in multiple occupation will continue to have access to fixed-term, rather than periodic, tenancies in the provisions of the forthcoming Renters Reform Bill.

The Government’s commitment to abolish section 21 evictions and move to periodic tenancies will mean tenants enjoy greater security and feel empowered to challenge poor practice and unreasonable rent rises. We want as many tenants as possible to benefit from these reforms, including students living in the private rented sector.

We expect most students will continue to move in-line with the academic year. However, the proposed reforms will support student households who have children or local roots to remain in their properties after studying if they wish to. It will also mean that students are not locked into contracts when their circumstances change or if property standards are poor.

Marcus Jones
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether his Department has carried out an impact assessment on the impact of the Future Homes Standard on new house build completions from 2025.

We have listened to calls for a swifter and more certain pathway to 2025 and have already accelerated our work on a full technical specification for the Future Homes Standard, which is planned for Spring 2023. In the meantime, to provide greater certainty for all stakeholders, we have published a draft notional building specification for the Future Homes Standard. The specification is not final but provides a basis on which we are already beginning to engage with industry on the indicative technical detail of the Future Homes Standard.

A full impact assessment on the Future Homes Standard will be carried out ahead of implementation and published online. Government's intention is to publish a draft impact assessment alongside the consultation in 2023.

As part of the consultation, we will consider what transitional arrangements are appropriate. Transitional arrangements are important as they provide all developers with certainty about the standards they are building to, and assurance that they should not have to make material amendments to work which is already underway when new Regulations came into force.

Marcus Jones
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if his Department will make an assessment of the potential merits of bringing forward the technical consultation on the Future Homes Standard from 2023 to provide greater certainty to housing developers and companies in their supply chains.

We have listened to calls for a swifter and more certain pathway to 2025 and have already accelerated our work on a full technical specification for the Future Homes Standard, which is planned for Spring 2023. In the meantime, to provide greater certainty for all stakeholders, we have published a draft notional building specification for the Future Homes Standard. The specification is not final but provides a basis on which we are already beginning to engage with industry on the indicative technical detail of the Future Homes Standard.

A full impact assessment on the Future Homes Standard will be carried out ahead of implementation and published online. Government's intention is to publish a draft impact assessment alongside the consultation in 2023.

As part of the consultation, we will consider what transitional arrangements are appropriate. Transitional arrangements are important as they provide all developers with certainty about the standards they are building to, and assurance that they should not have to make material amendments to work which is already underway when new Regulations came into force.

Marcus Jones
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, with reference to the transitionary arrangements for implementing the Future Homes Standard, if his Department will make an assessment of the potential merits of a phased implementation of those arrangements to enable developments to proceed based on planning permission already granted and energy infrastructure already laid.

We have listened to calls for a swifter and more certain pathway to 2025 and have already accelerated our work on a full technical specification for the Future Homes Standard, which is planned for Spring 2023. In the meantime, to provide greater certainty for all stakeholders, we have published a draft notional building specification for the Future Homes Standard. The specification is not final but provides a basis on which we are already beginning to engage with industry on the indicative technical detail of the Future Homes Standard.

A full impact assessment on the Future Homes Standard will be carried out ahead of implementation and published online. Government's intention is to publish a draft impact assessment alongside the consultation in 2023.

As part of the consultation, we will consider what transitional arrangements are appropriate. Transitional arrangements are important as they provide all developers with certainty about the standards they are building to, and assurance that they should not have to make material amendments to work which is already underway when new Regulations came into force.

Marcus Jones
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of introducing a statutory definition of support for residents of exempt supported accommodation.

On 17 March we announced our intention to bring forward a package of measures to put an end to a minority of unscrupulous supported housing landlords exploiting some of the most vulnerable in our society.  This includes the intention to introduce standards for support.

We are actively engaging with stakeholders to develop the detail of the measures and will introduce any measures requiring legislation when parliamentary time allows.

We have also announced that we will provide £20 million for a Supported Housing Improvement Programme to drive up quality in the sector in some of the worst affected areas. The funding call for the programme opened on 2 July.

Marcus Jones
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what recent steps he has taken to improve standards in the exempt supported accommodation sector.

On 17 March we announced our intention to bring forward a package of measures to put an end to a minority of unscrupulous supported housing landlords exploiting some of the most vulnerable in our society.  This includes the intention to introduce standards for support.

We are actively engaging with stakeholders to develop the detail of the measures and will introduce any measures requiring legislation when parliamentary time allows.

We have also announced that we will provide £20 million for a Supported Housing Improvement Programme to drive up quality in the sector in some of the worst affected areas. The funding call for the programme opened on 2 July.

Marcus Jones
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what plans he has to ensure that new housing in rural areas comes with necessary improvements to local infrastructure.

The provision of the right infrastructure at the right time is very important to new and existing communities, including those in rural locations. Where infrastructure is required as a result of new development, local planning authorities can require contributions from developers towards that infrastructure. Contributions can be sought through Section 106 agreements and the Community Infrastructure Levy.

To create a more efficient, effective and transparent system, the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill proposes a new Infrastructure Levy. This will be a mandatory, non-negotiable charge, set and collected locally, to largely replace the complex and discretionary Section 106 regime and CIL charge.

The Bill will require local authorities to prepare infrastructure delivery strategies. These will set out a strategy for delivering local infrastructure through spending Levy proceeds. They will create a more transparent process for local people on how funds will be spent and what infrastructure will be delivered to support development. It will be for local councils to decide which infrastructure projects they spend the proceeds on.

The Levy will be brought forward through regulations that will set out the detail of how it will operate. We intend to consult on this detail, prior to any publication of regulations.

Marcus Jones
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what plans he has to ensure that new housing in rural areas comes with necessary improvements to local infrastructure.

The provision of the right infrastructure at the right time is very important to new and existing communities, including those in rural locations. Where infrastructure is required as a result of new development, local planning authorities can require contributions from developers towards that infrastructure. Contributions can be sought through Section 106 agreements and the Community Infrastructure Levy.

To create a more efficient, effective and transparent system, the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill proposes a new Infrastructure Levy. This will be a mandatory, non-negotiable charge, set and collected locally, to largely replace the complex and discretionary Section 106 regime and CIL charge.

The Bill will require local authorities to prepare infrastructure delivery strategies. These will set out a strategy for delivering local infrastructure through spending Levy proceeds. They will create a more transparent process for local people on how funds will be spent and what infrastructure will be delivered to support development. It will be for local councils to decide which infrastructure projects they spend the proceeds on.

The Levy will be brought forward through regulations that will set out the detail of how it will operate. We intend to consult on this detail, prior to any publication of regulations.

Marcus Jones
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how many buildings that have successfully applied to the Building Safety Fund have (a) received funding and (b) started cladding remediation work in (i) Birmingham Edgbaston constituency, (ii) Birmingham and (iii) the West Midlands.

In Birmingham (using the boundary of Upper Tier Local Authority) 26 buildings have been assessed as eligible for the Building Safety Fund. Of these, 19 buildings have received funding and 6 have started cladding remediation work.

In the West Midlands (using Local Fire Authority boundaries) 32 buildings have been assessed as eligible for the Building Safety Fund. Of these, 22 buildings have received funding and 6 have started cladding remediation work.

In the constituency of Edgbaston, the number of eligible applications to the Building Safety Fund is below the threshold at which we can publish data without the risk of identifying individual buildings.

Marcus Jones
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what recent assessment he has made of the reasonableness and value for money of service charges levied by housing associations on their tenants.

The Government believes very strongly that service charges should be transparent and communicated effectively. The way a service charge is organised (for example, what it covers and how it is worked out) is set out in the lease or tenancy agreement. The law is clear that variable service charges must be reasonable and, where costs relate to work or services, the work or services must be of a reasonable standard. The Government believes that there should be a clear route to challenge or redress if things go wrong.

The Government’s policy statement on rents for social housing (published in February 2019) encourages registered providers of social housing to keep increases for services charges in line with inflation, within CPI+1% per annum, to help keep charges affordable. It also states that tenants should be supplied with clear information on how service charges are set, and in the case of social rent properties, providers are expected to identify service charges separately from the rent charge.

The Regulator of Social Housing’s Rent Standard says that registered providers must comply with all the requirements and expectations of the Government’s Rent Policy Statement on the setting, increase and decrease of rents and service charges.

Marcus Jones
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether he has plans to increase community benefits for people living near (a) large scale solar plants and (b) other nationally significant infrastructure projects.

In the British Energy Security Strategy, the Secretary of State for Energy committed to consult on community benefit options for the network infrastructure we need to meet net zero targets. This will ensure that communities that host network infrastructure are recognised for their vital role in ensuring a cheaper, cleaner and self-sufficient energy supply in Britain. Any new community benefit options will not replace community engagement with developments through the existing planning and consultation processes.

Local communities will continue to be able to have their say on Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) and the benefits they can deliver for their local area, including: environmental enhancements; job schemes; energy discounts; and investment in local infrastructure, such as faster broadband, electric vehicle charging points or energy efficiency measures. Applicants are required to set out in their Statement of Community Consultation how they propose to consult those living in the vicinity of the land. When deciding whether to accept an application for a Development Consent Order, the Planning Inspectorate (on behalf of the relevant Sectary of State) must have regard to this consultation report. Where applications are accepted for examination, members of local communities can also make written representations on the proposed infrastructure, often also providing oral evidence at hearings.

Marcus Jones
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
18th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill on local authority powers regarding empty high street properties with owners and leaseholders residing overseas.

This Government is committed, through the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, to empower local authorities to reinvigorate their high streets and town centres.

High Street Rental Auctions will seek to increase cooperation between landlords and local authorities to make town centre tenancies more accessible and affordable for tenants, including SMEs and community groups.

Through the Register of Overseas Entities which is being developed by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, local authorities will be able to gather information on overseas landlords. If overseas landlords own UK property via an overseas entity in scope of the Register of Overseas Entities, they will be required to register details with Companies House, including about their beneficial owners.

Lia Nici
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
18th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how many applications have been received for the position of West Midlands Levelling Up Director.

We are in the process of recruitment and more details will be available in due course.

Lia Nici
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
18th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of the timetable for commencement of the Shared Prosperity Fund on community and voluntary sector groups that are in receipt of European Social Fund resources.

This Government recognises the role that EU Structural funding plays in supporting people and businesses up and down the UK. The UK Shared Prosperity Fund will continue this through empowering places to identify local priorities and deliver investment for their communities, where it is needed most.

There remains a long tail of investment from EU Structural Funds, tapering off in 2024/25 to be replaced solely by UKSPF.

Lead authorities have the freedom to invest across a range of interventions, which includes specific support for community and voluntary sector groups. This funding can be backdated to the 1st April 2022. Further detail can be found on GOV.UK.

Lia Nici
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of supporting semi-rural market towns in (a) Shropshire and (b) Telford and Wrekin as part of the next round of levelling up funding.

I am delighted to have opened the application portal for the second round of the Levelling Up Fund on the 15 July.

We recognise that what constitutes priority investment will vary across local authorities and geographies, including in rural areas of the UK.

I am keen to see a diverse range of bids come forward so that this government can continue to invest in Levelling Up urban and rural communities across the UK.

Lia Nici
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of requiring or incentivising developers to make an early commitment to seeking adoption for roads, drainage and open spaces on new housing estates, as part of the Government’s planning reform programme.

When a new development is granted planning permission, local authorities can use section 106 planning obligations to secure a commitment from developers to provide and maintain communal spaces and facilities. It is up to developers and local planning authorities to agree appropriate funding arrangements for developments with common areas or shared services.

Planning obligations may only constitute a reason for granting planning permission for the development if the obligation is necessary to make the development acceptable in planning terms; directly related to the development; and fairly and reasonably related in scale and kind to the development.

Section 38 agreements facilitate the adoption of new roads built by developers to become highways maintained by the public purse. Whether a road is offered up for adoption is determined by the developer. Where a road is offered for adoption, the Highways Authority will assess whether the road has been constructed to the correct standard and will make a decision whether or not to adopt the road. This department does not hold data on unadopted roads.

In all cases, the Government believes that it should be clear to potential purchasers what the arrangements are for the maintenance of roads and upkeep of open space, public or otherwise. Where a road is not adopted by the local authority the responsibility for maintaining the road rests with third parties, which are usually the owners of properties that front onto it. Estate rent charges are one way that residents cover the unadopted road’s maintenance. However, it is not appropriate that these homeowners have limited rights to challenge these costs.

That is why the Government intends to legislate to give freeholders on private and mixed tenure estates equivalent rights to leaseholders to challenge the reasonableness of estate rent charges, as well as a right to apply to the First-tier Tribunal to appoint a new manager to manage the provision of services covered by estate charges.

Marcus Jones
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment his Department has made of the potential impact on residents of new housing estates of developers not offering roads, drainage or open spaces on those estates for adoption.

When a new development is granted planning permission, local authorities can use section 106 planning obligations to secure a commitment from developers to provide and maintain communal spaces and facilities. It is up to developers and local planning authorities to agree appropriate funding arrangements for developments with common areas or shared services.

Planning obligations may only constitute a reason for granting planning permission for the development if the obligation is necessary to make the development acceptable in planning terms; directly related to the development; and fairly and reasonably related in scale and kind to the development.

Section 38 agreements facilitate the adoption of new roads built by developers to become highways maintained by the public purse. Whether a road is offered up for adoption is determined by the developer. Where a road is offered for adoption, the Highways Authority will assess whether the road has been constructed to the correct standard and will make a decision whether or not to adopt the road. This department does not hold data on unadopted roads.

In all cases, the Government believes that it should be clear to potential purchasers what the arrangements are for the maintenance of roads and upkeep of open space, public or otherwise. Where a road is not adopted by the local authority the responsibility for maintaining the road rests with third parties, which are usually the owners of properties that front onto it. Estate rent charges are one way that residents cover the unadopted road’s maintenance. However, it is not appropriate that these homeowners have limited rights to challenge these costs.

That is why the Government intends to legislate to give freeholders on private and mixed tenure estates equivalent rights to leaseholders to challenge the reasonableness of estate rent charges, as well as a right to apply to the First-tier Tribunal to appoint a new manager to manage the provision of services covered by estate charges.

Marcus Jones
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
18th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of granting local planning authorities power to refuse the grant of planning permission for new housing until such time as it is known whether or not the roads, drainage and open spaces on the proposed development will be adopted.

When a new development is granted planning permission, local authorities can use section 106 planning obligations to secure a commitment from developers to provide and maintain communal spaces and facilities. It is up to developers and local planning authorities to agree appropriate funding arrangements for developments with common areas or shared services.

Planning obligations may only constitute a reason for granting planning permission for the development if the obligation is necessary to make the development acceptable in planning terms; directly related to the development; and fairly and reasonably related in scale and kind to the development.

Section 38 agreements facilitate the adoption of new roads built by developers to become highways maintained by the public purse. Whether a road is offered up for adoption is determined by the developer. Where a road is offered for adoption, the Highways Authority will assess whether the road has been constructed to the correct standard and will make a decision whether or not to adopt the road. This department does not hold data on unadopted roads.

In all cases, the Government believes that it should be clear to potential purchasers what the arrangements are for the maintenance of roads and upkeep of open space, public or otherwise. Where a road is not adopted by the local authority the responsibility for maintaining the road rests with third parties, which are usually the owners of properties that front onto it. Estate rent charges are one way that residents cover the unadopted road’s maintenance. However, it is not appropriate that these homeowners have limited rights to challenge these costs.

That is why the Government intends to legislate to give freeholders on private and mixed tenure estates equivalent rights to leaseholders to challenge the reasonableness of estate rent charges, as well as a right to apply to the First-tier Tribunal to appoint a new manager to manage the provision of services covered by estate charges.

Marcus Jones
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)