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Cities Act

The Cities Act confers on local authorities which adopt it powers to establish ConnectedCities, supervise their development, and eventually transfer the administration of each to a ConnectedCity council.

The Act is adoptive so that only local authorities which embrace the ConnectedCities approach need do so. However. it mostly confers powers rather than creates duties, so not adopting cuts them off from its benefits.

Where a potential ConnectedCity covers more than one district or borough, the councils co-operate in implementing the Act by appointing a joint committee for each ConnectedCity, to which they delegate the powers. They can also appoint a joint transport committee covering the area of several ConnectedCities.

The Act will not apply to large cities o metropolises, but as some of these are “natural” hub towns it will give the Secretary of State power to extend the Act by Order if requested.

Among other things, the Act empowers local authorities that adopt it to:
  • Identify the potential ConnectedCities in their area and adopt a plan for each;
  • Provide or secure provision of the necessary infrastructure to enable them to be developed;
  • Appoint development corporations with compulsory purchase eminent domain powers, placing them in the same position in relation to the city’s new green quarters and new green towns as the UK government was in relation to the post-war new towns;
  • Borrow at preferential rates secured by government guarantees;
  • Apply the rental income and capital receipts from new development to the purposes of the Act;
  • Grant initial rate relief for commercial development within the pedsheds and later retain the rate receipts;
  • Apply more relaxed permitted development rules within pedsheds;
  • Procure public transport, including rail services, within a group of ConnectedCities, thereby providing a coordinated transport system similar to that provided by integrated transport authorities in metropolitan areas;
  • Access infrastructure funding from central government.
 
Primary legislation will be required to enable Local Bodies to have the powers required to create a ConnectedCity