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NPPF Draft text for consultation - key points

On the 22nd December the Government published this first stage of consultation. This runs until 2nd March 2023. The scope relates to England only.

The consultation, in essence, seeks views on the Government’s approach to updating the National Planning Policy Framework. Views are sought on the proposed approach to preparing the new National Development Management Policies, how policy may be developed to support levelling up and how national planning policy is currently accessed by users.

The proposed revisions are considered to be significant, a number of the prevalent proposals are summarised below:

  • Overall the proposed changes that allow flexibility to local planning authorities to plan for objectively assessed housing need.

  • The presumption in favour of sustainable development remains with an additional clause Paragraph 11(b)(ii) which means for plan making would prevent LPAs from having to meet housing need in full that where is they did densities would be significantly out of character with the existing area. In additional there is a new subpoint (iii) that allows a new Plan to provide for less that the objectively assessed need. Thus reducing the pressure on LPAs to provide for housing needs in full. The intention is to thus promote development in sustainable areas still. It is though interesting to note that the ‘presumption in favour’ set out in paragraph 11 now no longer applies if there is an adopted neighbourhood plan in place and is less than 5 years old.

  • A change to the calculation of housing need is proposed whether the Standard Method is now only ‘advisory’.

  • There is an appetite to direct development to within sustainable urban centres.

  • A requirement to provide a 5 year housing land supply would only apply where policies are 5 years old or more and this 5 year housing land supply should take into account previous under supply. The reforms enable an LPA to include historic oversupply in its calculations though too.

  • The test of ‘justification’ of soundness of local plans is removed.

  • There is an emphasis on design with a focus on beautiful design. There is direct reference to mansard roofs and the ability to contribute to increased density with harmony of design.

  • Energy efficiency is brought to the forefront in particular with existing buildings.

The consultation also sets out the justification and scope for new National Development Management Policies which will be subject to a separate consultation document in due course, along with financial penalties for developers who are building out too slowly, however we consider the devil will be in the detail.

The proposed revisions to the NPPF are published ahead of a ‘fuller’ review of the Framework, dependent on the implementation of the Government’s proposals for their aspirations for a wider change to the planning system, including the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill.

Any questions, please do get in touch:


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