The final version of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) will be published within a week, replacing the current planning system with immediate effect
The government’s controversial shake-up of the planning system grounded on a ‘presumption in favour of sustainable development’ will be published, in its entirety, on Tuesday (27 March).
The announcement made by Chancellor George Osborne in his 2012 budget speech today shocked some observers who expected a phased transition to the new system.
Instead the NPPF become the basis for determining all planning applications within days.
In his speech, Osborne said: ‘You can’t earn your future if you can’t get planning permission. Global businesses have diverted specific investments that would have created hundreds of jobs in some of the most deprived communities in Britain to countries like Germany and the Netherlands, because they couldn’t get planning permission here. That is unacceptable.
‘Next week my RHFs the Communities Secretary and the Planning Minister will publish the results of our overhaul of planning regulation. We’re replacing 1000 pages of guidance with just 50 pages. We’re introducing a presumption in favour of sustainable development; while protecting our most precious environments.’
He added: ‘The new policy comes into effect when the National Planning Policy Framework is published next Tuesday. This is the biggest reduction in business red tape ever undertaken.’
RTPI president Colin Haylock said: ‘Despite the pre-budget rhetoric the Chancellor made few new planning announcements. We do at least know that the National Planning Policy Framework will be published and come into effect on Tuesday. Does this mean that the Government has changed its mind on its promise to introduce effective transitional arrangements. The absence of transitional arrangements could risk planning by appeal.’
Liz Peace, chief executive of the British Property Federation, said: ‘We welcome the publication of the NPPF before the end of the month, and have repeatedly urged the Government to stand firm on their pro-growth stance.
‘We do, however, believe that a few modifications could be made to clarify the framework, and to ensure that it really does allow sustainable development and encourage local authorities to complete their local plans. Greater clarity concerning the transitional arrangements is desperately needed, and it is crucial that local authorities receive significant support to get local plans in place.
“We have supported the presumption in favour of sustainable development from the outset, and believe that it is a key tool to streamlining the planning system. We have also urged the Government to clarify their position on the use of previously developed land and to ensure that it is widely understood that that land of lesser environmental value should be allocated first where appropriate