Page last updated at 22:12 GMT, Monday, 17 December 2012

Growth and Infrastructure Bill

On 17 December 2012 MPs passed the Growth and Infrastructure Bill at third reading with a majority of 42.

Labour opposed the bill forcing a vote on it, but the government won the vote by 273 votes to 231.

The bill, which is intended to promote investment in infrastructure projects and reduce delays in the planning system, now goes to the Lords for further consideration.

Under the plans, some infrastructure projects will be referred to the secretary of state, rather than local planning authorities, to be determined within a 12-month timetable.

The bill will also allow for planning obligations (section 106 agreements) relating to affordable housing to be renegotiated with the aim of making development economically viable again.

Section 106 agreements allow a local planning authority to enter into a legally-binding agreement or obligation with a land developer over a related issue, such as a requirement to build affordable social housing.

The bill also makes provision for a planned revaluation of business rates in England to be postponed and to create a new employment status of employee owner.

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