Government release updated National Planning Policy Framework

National Planning Policy Framework

The revised National Planning Policy Framework sets out the government’s planning policies for England and how these are expected to be applied

This revised framework replaces the previous National Planning Policy Framework published in March 2012.

The document provides a framework which allows plans for housing and other developments to be produced.

The framework looks into the following areas:

  • Achieving sustainable development
  • Plan-making
  • Decision-making
  • Delivering a sufficient supply of homes
  • Building a strong, competitive economy
  • Ensuring the vitality of town centres
  • Promoting healthy and safe communities
  • Promoting sustainable transport
  • Supporting high quality communications
  • Making effective use of land
  • Achieving well-designed places
  • Protecting Green Belt land
  • Meeting the challenge of climate change, flooding and coastal change
  • Conserving and enhancing the natural environment
  • Conserving and enhancing the historic environment
  • Facilitating the sustainable use of minerals

Reacting to the revised NPPF, Paul Smith, MD, The Strategic Land Group said: “Rather than making dramatic changes, the new NPPF policies are more about marginal gains, which the government hopes will make a big difference in aggregate.

“Looking at the full document, some of the initiatives are likely to be more successful than others – for instance, demonstrating the required need to allow entry-level exception sites to come forward seems likely to be challenging, and there is no recourse if councils aren’t proactive in helping with site assembly.

“However, the New Housing Delivery Test looks set to be a vitally important change – by looking back at the homes which have actually been delivered, it will complement the forward-looking five year supply calculations and put added pressure on councils to make sure that sites truly are deliverable.

“While none of the NPPF policies are game changing in themselves, they represent an evolution of the original NPPF which has, in reality, worked quite well – the number of homes granted planning permission has almost doubled since it was introduced.

“Yet even small numbers of extra homes from each source could add up to a significant increase in supply overall, which is something we can all feel optimistic about.”

Richard Upton Deputy Chief Executive of U+I, is pleased that the government have revised the framework: “While the final plan is not a great leap forward it does provide some much-needed clarity to our sector and a welcome focus on design.

“On balance the measures are positive, although do seem to increase the burden on our counterparts in local government at a time when they are already struggling to keep up with demand.

“Finding a better way to resource planning departments would be a very welcome addition to these proposals.

“But it’s important to recognise that the NPPF is simply a framework. It doesn’t dictate the spirit with which councils, developers and communities engage, which is the key to unlocking housing supply in this country.

“If developers engage in good faith with local councils, and importantly, with the communities they serve, then we can really set about delivering the homes and neighbourhoods our country is crying out for.”

The archived National Planning Policy Framework published in 2012 can be accessed at the following:


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