Planning framework set to pave the way for development

26 March 2012

The Government’s National Planning Policy Framework is expected to press on with its controversial “presumption in favour of sustainable development,” when it is published tomorrow (Tuesday).

The policy comes into effect the same day.

Announcing the publication in last week’s budget George Osborne called the new document which condenses 1,000 pages of planning guidance down to fewer than 60 “ the biggest reduction in red tape ever undertaken,”

Despite ferocious lobbying from environmentalist tomorrow’s document is expected to keep the clauses that states that as long as development fits within the government definition of sustainable, it should go ahead. The onus is placed on opponents of the scheme to prove it shouldn’t.

Liz Peace, chief executive of the British Property Federation told Property Week that she still thought the government needed to clarify its position on whether “brownfield first” would remain a key policy. The draft document rejected this, to the fury of campaigners. There is also concern that local authorities will not draw up local plans, which the NPPF demands.

Deloitte, the business advisory firm says that local authorities who have produced Local Plans could find them inconsistent with, or even contradict national planning policy. 

John Adams, head of planning at Drivers Jonas Deloitte, said:

“It is great to see a new presumption in favour of sustainable development, as part of a suite of policies designed to promote growth.  However, local authorities who have rightly pressed ahead with Local Plans as part of the Government’s localism agenda could find them inconsistent with the Framework.

“Many councils have been arguing that there needs to be a 'transition' period and that the NPPF will need to be brought in incrementally, to allow local authorities to amend their Plans to make them 'NPPF-proof'. Others have argued that 'growth' cannot be put on hold and the NPPF policies will need to come into immediate effect and with full force. We will hopefully get some guidance on how to straddle this divide.”

Leave a comment