As we look forward to 2024, there is an abundance of opportunities and anticipation in the air.  With continued growth in the UK Economy is the past 12 months, in excess of previous estimates, together with a fall in inflation, we can look forward to 2024 and beyond with continued growth forecast over the next 2 years.

On 26 October 2023, the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill was granted royal assent, officially transforming into the Levelling-up and Regeneration Act 2023 (LURA). While certain provisions of the Act will come into effect on 26 December 2023, there remains a significant amount that necessitates statutory legislation, which we anticipate will be introduced throughout the course of 2024. This will include reform to Planning Enforcement, with revised time limits for Immunity.

The response to the March 2023 revised draft National Planning Policy Framework consultation is anticipated to be published before the close of 2023. Additionally, the response to the draft National Development Management Policies consultation is expected in early 2024.

The LURA advocates for the adoption of Digital Planning and a number of digital tools are now available to assist with the planning application process. With the Planning Portal being in operation since 2002 for online submission of applications in England and Wales, it continuously evolves, promising numerous upcoming improvements.

Starting from January 2024, large sites will be required to implement Biodiversity Net Gain. While Ecological consultants are currently equipped to handle the necessary Metric calculations, another option is the innovative digital solution offered by Joes Blooms.  In cases where on-site biodiversity gain is not feasible, companies such as Integrated Land Management and Environment Bank are providing creation and management of Biodiversity Gain Sites, and offering the sale of BNG credits resulting from these initiatives.

With several volume housebuilders actively securing land and private housebuilders pursuing opportunities to achieve their ambitious growth goals, this is the perfect moment for SMEs and regional housebuilders to capitalize on a less competitive land market, securing plots and maintaining their project pipelines.

In the local area, opportunities for redevelopment of Town Centres are emerging in locations like Bedford and Milton Keynes.

Another exciting development on the horizon for the local area is the construction program for the A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet road improvements. This is set to begin in January 2024.  This ambitious project promises to bring economic and employment opportunities to the region, transforming the area and enhancing travel between Milton Keynes, Bedford, St Neots, and Cambridge. Discover more about this scheme here.

If you would like to know more about anything in this post please contact us now for further advice.