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May 2016 Newsletter
As it is a little time since I last updated the membership on our reform activities, I am writing to let you know about what the Committee have undertaken on your behalf in recent weeks.
Housing and Planning Act
The reform subgroup have been active on the final changes to the Housing and Planning Bill which received Royal Assent last week. A group comprising Adrian Maher, Meyric Lewis, Paul Astbury, Barry Denyer-Green, Vicky Fowler and Keith Murray with additional assistance from Raj Gupta, must all be thanked for their huge efforts on behalf of the Association. Additional comments were received from a number of other CPA members, for which many thanks. I have already recorded, but mention again, our debt to the Earl of Lytton who assisted us in the House of Lords. I should also thank our colleagues in DCLG who took the time to consider our suggestions for amendments to the Bill.
Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill and further CPO reforms
At the same time we were working on the response to DCLG's latest consultation on compulsory purchase reform. Our response can be found here. Many thanks to all members of the reform subgroup, as well as a number of other participants who contributed comments for our paper.
As with our response to the 2015 consultation, on many areas the Committee have provided a range of views rather than a single response, reflecting the diversity of opinion in our wider membership.
Given the 2015 consultation heralded some of the CPO provisions in the Housing and Planning Bill, the latest consultation meant it was no surprise that the Queen's speech on 17 May indicated that further reforms to compulsory purchase can be anticipated in the Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill. We will continue to offer our assistance to DCLG on the proposed reforms and hope to be as fully engaged in the process both through our Departmental and Parliamentary contacts, as we were with the Housing and Planning Act.
Reviewing of Hybrid Bill process
With the HS2 Bill now in the House of Lords committee process, you may be aware that the House of Commons Private Bills office are reviewing the Hybrid Bill procedure in the light of the experience of the first HS2 Bill . As further HS2 Bills are in the offing, as well as Crossrail 2, this is an important consultation and CPA will be looking to provide its views in this consultation process. Should you wish to make your own submission, the details of the consultation can be found at: https://www.parliament.uk/business/news/2016/may/review-of-petitioning-procedures-on-hybrid-bills/ or you can let me have your views for inclusion in the Association's submission.
CPA Review for further CPO Reforms
Many of the reforms in the Housing and Planning Act and in the recent consultation paper were on topics first raised by CPA in a very successful stakeholder engagement discussion hosted by the Earl of Lytton in the House of Lords in 2014. We believe it is time to have another event, looking both at the proposed reforms and more fundamental changes to the Compulsory Purchase and Compensation Code and our plan is to convene this in the autumn. If you have thoughts on what we should be bringing to the Government's attention please do pass on to me your detailed thought on that needs to change and how, for us to communicate to DCLG.
CPO Professional Standards
In terms of professional standards, Committee members are working with RICS to enable RICS to bring forward a practice statement for surveyors. We will also consider whether other of the professional bodies relevant to compulsory purchase should be similarly engaged.
Young CPA Activities
The Young CPA are having a drinks get together in London on 9 June, and my thanks to Kingston Smith for sponsoring. For details please click here.
The YCPA has been hugely successful thus far due to the energy of those involved and the Committee continues to be committed to supporting the YCPA's activities . Given the envisaged demand for professionals in our field in the coming years it is vital we continue to do so. We need to promote the opportunities that a career in compulsory purchase offers, as well as provide the networking and knowledge sharing that is vital for making sure our clients continue to be provided with appropriate level of professional service.
In terms of committee composition, in the Spring the Committee invited Sue Rixon of Westminster City Council and Sam Ryan of Turley to join as co-opted members for the remainder of my year as Chair. Both have provided us with great assistance already with their insights into the world of CPO and we're really pleased to have them on board.
I should sign off by mentioning the conference on 30 June, at Congress House, London. The programme is now complete. For more details please click here.
The event promises to be another informative, engaging and wide-ranging conference. Our key note speaker will be the new President of the Lands Chamber, Mr Justice Holgate. I do hope you are able to attend.. Carter Jonas and CRBE are sponsoring aspects of the event, and some sponsorship opportunities remain. Please contact the CPA office is you wish to discover more.
As ever, please do contact me or the other committee members if you do have any thoughts about the Association's activities and its continuing pursuit of appropriate reforms.