The National Planning Policy Framework, NPPF, lays out what we the community expect of development. It also makes it clear to those developing our urban and rural habitats, what we aspire to and what we expect.

The NPPF has been seen by some as a ‘shackle’ that hinders development all of which would be done, if not controlled, ‘in the best possible taste’.

In March 2018 a consultation was launched by Government on further changes to the NPPF. These are some issues that we think any changes should address:

  1. Does it restore a genuine commitment towards sustainable development and the welfare of future generations?
  2. Does it prioritise good design and set out mandatory space standards for new homes?
  3. Does it reprioritise action on climate change, making clear that planning must deliver the carbon reduction target stated in the Climate Act?
  4. Does it prioritise the promotion of people’s health and wellbeing in planning decisions?
  5. Does it focus on a meaningful definition of housing affordability based on people’s ability to pay, prioritising social rented homes?
  6. Does it defend people’s rights to participate in the planning process?

For those who are not aware of the NPPF, it is the planning framework that combined all of the previous policy statements to produce a fifty page document (reduced from 1000 pages).

But does the document head us in the right direction ? Sadly, according to TCPA (Town and Country Planning Association), it does not. It is not a lost cause. You could take my six points and include these in a response. If left unchanged, two features you can expect are:

  • A focus on a private-sector-led development model rather than unlocking the high quality and inclusive places the nation requires.
  • Deregulation of the Local Plan system in favour of light-touch, strategic plans, leaving it unclear where place-making standards on health and wellbeing will sit.

The consultation is here:

The TCPA press release is here:

Consultation closes 11:45 May 10th 2018