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Join the debate: dissecting the draft National Planning Policy Framework

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The AJ wants to hear from you about the recently unveiled blueprint for the much-anticipated National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

The draft document (see attached) was drafted by an advisory group of four experts in planning, local government, house-building and the environment as a prototype for an overarching, simplified policy framework which will sweep away the existing mass of policy statements, guidance notes and circulars.

Hailed as the ‘most important planning document since the Town and Country Planning Act of 1947’, the finalised NPPF is expected to be made public by the minister for decentralisation Greg Clark in July.

Industry comments:

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation, said: ‘It is vital the Government gets the NPPF right. If it is serious about tackling our housing crisis, now is the time to prove it. It needs to deliver a planning system that creates real economic growth alongside the homes our country desperately needs. At the centre of the new NPPF must be the social and economic benefits of development, the hundreds of thousands of jobs created and the families, young and old, provided with a roof over their heads.

RIBA president Ruth Reed said: ‘While the RIBA broadly supports the recommendations made by the advisory group and their commitment to both encouraging innovation and improving design quality, we would like to see even greater clarity regarding the use of professional expertise within the final framework. 
‘The use of a design review panel is one of most effective ways that a local authority can utilise the views of professionals, and that clients and local communities can achieve better buildings, and would wish to see a requirement to engage in this way incorporated within the final guidance.’

Kate Henderson, chief executive of the Town and Country Planning Association said: ‘We are facing unprecedented challenges from climate change and a housing crisis. This draft NPPF from the advisory group has identified a number of important priorities, but does not provide all the necessary key principles or practical tools to face those challenges.  The Government must move quickly to ensure there is genuine cross-sector support for the new framework based on a robust policy to deliver a fair and low carbon society.’

Every reader who leaves a comment on the AJ website or the AJ LinkedIn group before June 10 will be entered into a prize draw for one of two Lego Farnsworth Houses (RRP £54.99).


  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • I dont know about ‘most important planning document since the Town and Country Planning Act of 1947’ - it seems to be just pulling together lots of other polices and, despite my natural instinct to oppose everything this government do, i found myself agreeing (in principle) with much of what it says. The biggest alarm bell was these awful sounding Neighbourhood Forums. Whilst seeking to simplify the planning process these sounds like a great opportunity to put more obstacles in the way of development as applications ping pong between these local groups and local authorities. The idea of the Neighbourhood Forums granting planning permissions fills me with dread! There is real potential for small minded but articulate and vocal 'neighbourhoods' to cherry pick what they decide is acceptable development on their doorstep whilst less engaged or organised communities get all sorts of rubbish dumped on them.

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