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6th March 2018

National Planning Policy Framework Draft Revisions Revealed

6th March 2018

National Planning Policy Framework Draft Revisions Revealed

Peter Kershaw

Posted: 6th March 2018

T: 023 8048 2162

E: Email Me

Paris Smith LLP’s experienced Planning Team have been closely monitoring a number of major Government announcements this week in relation to planning and housing delivery.

For a one-to-one meeting with the team to discuss the robustness of your future planning consultancy, planning law and public consultation strategies in the context of these proposed reforms and the ongoing political climate, or to sign up to our issue targeted intelligence briefings, please email me and a member of our team will be in touch.

Planning and Housing Delivery

The Government has made the following major announcements in relation to planning and housing delivery:

1. A new consultation has been opened on a draft revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

The draft revised NPPF implements the Government’s reforms to planning policy and, subject to the consultation, the Government intends to publish a final revised NPPF before the summer.

In developing the draft revised NPPF the Government has incorporated around 80 previously announced reforms to collate:

  • proposals from previous recent consultations (taking into account the views raised in response to them);
  • changes to planning policy implemented through Written Ministerial Statements since publication of the first NPPF in 2012;
  • the effect of case law on the interpretation of planning policy since 2012, and;
  • improvements to the text to increase coherence and reduce duplication.

The consultation also includes a number of changes to policy beyond those previously consulted on.

The presumption in favour of sustainable development remains at the heart of the NPPF.

The consultation runs until 23.45 on Thursday 10 May 2018.

2. A new consultation has been opened on reforming developer contributions to affordable housing and infrastructure

The Government has opened a new consultation on reforming developer contributions to affordable housing and infrastructure in the short-term.

The consultation runs until 23.45 on Thursday 10 May 2018.

The Government has also acknowledged the potential for longer-term reform.

3. It has been revealed that a future consultation is anticipated on a new permitted development right for upwards extensions and more effective ways of bringing agricultural land forward for housing

The Government has revealed it is considering further planning reforms in the future which would be subject to the outcomes of Sir Oliver Letwin’s review of build out and subject to future consultation. It would include consideration to a new permitted development right for upwards extensions and more effective ways of bringing agricultural land forward for housing.

A Written Ministerial Statement on 5th February 2018 made clear that planning policies and decisions should allow the use of airspace above existing residential and commercial premises to create new homes to use available space efficiently and reduce the need to build outwards. The Government is exploring what opportunities there are to further support this approach through a new permitted development right for upwards extensions for new homes where existing buildings are lower than the prevailing roofline. This would be subject to engagement with neighbours and a future consultation will seek views on where best this permitted development right should be applied.

The revised NPPF recognises the importance of making more intensive use of existing land and buildings but the Government has also recognised that there are locations where meeting housing needs through more effective use of urban land will not be possible. In these instances there will be a need to find extra land to deliver the homes needed locally. Where this is the case, the Government has revealed it wants to ensure that these developments deliver the right homes and that the value generated by releasing land is supported by local infrastructure and communities. To this end, the Government is exploring wider measures to support farm diversification and housing in the rural economy.

4. It has been announced that an end-to-end review of Planning Appeals is being planned

The Government has announced that to enable ‘swift and fair’ planning decisions to be made at appeal, an end-to-end review of planning inquiries is also to be announced soon. This review is understood to likely have the one main objective of determining what it would take to halve the time for an inquiry on housing supply to be determined.

5. It has been revealed that the potential for future planning freedoms and flexibilities for individual areas is being considered

In Annexe 1 of the draft revised NPPF, it is mentioned that “The Government will continue to explore with individual areas the potential for planning freedoms and flexibilities, for example where this would facilitate an increase in the amount of housing that can be delivered.”

6. It has been announced that the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee is to hold a one-off session with the Minister of State for Housing Dominic Raab MP and the Minister for Housing and Homelessness Heather Wheeler MP on the Ministry’s housing priorities.

HCLG Committee is to question Housing Ministers Dominic Raab MP and Heather Wheeler MP on Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s housing priorities on Monday 12th March at 4pm.

You may be very keen to know how these announcements impact on issues such as: Local Plan Making, Neighbourhood Plans, Planning Application Decision Making, Town Centre Vitality, Rural Economy, Green Belt, Historic Assets, Natural Environment and specific sites or groups in society. 

If you would like to know more about the services the Paris Smith Planning consultancy and legal team can provide please follow this link.

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Peter Kershaw

Posted: 6th March 2018

T: 023 8048 2162

E: Email Me