Government releases draft revised NPPF

Earlier this week, the Government issued the draft revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which proposes strategies and intentions to reform decades of under-provision of housing across the country. Currently out for consultation until 10 May, the burning question is whether the new Framework will deliver this much needed reform.

Peter Biggs, Lanes Planning Director said: “The proposed changes to the guidance come from the shortcomings of the original NPPF, and a better understanding that sustainable development needs to be brought through the planning process in a timely manner. This can therefore be seen as a positive move by the Government to put the delivery of housing at the forefront of the political agenda.

The draft guidance provides greater clarity on establishing objectively assessed needs of development, and continues to put neighbourhood planning as a significant part of the plan making process. This is an opportunity to encourage the often silent majority of supporters to development proposals within a local community. The acknowledgment that strategic plans should set out housing requirements for designated neighbourhood areas is a positive move to give greater certainty to the plan-making process and allocation of land for housing.”

Other positive aspects of the draft guidance include the introduction of a standard methodology for assessing housing need and guidance on the review of viability of schemes. Whilst there will be further discussions about the detail of the methodology, the intention is clear; there is a need to establish an agreed set of rules.

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