Media Briefing Note: National Planning Policy Framework

LONDON, 24 May 2011 - On 20 May CLG published the independent recommendations by its practitioners advisory group on what the National Planning Policy Framework ("NPPF") should contain.  The advisory group comprises Pete Andrews of Taylor Wimpey, Simon Marsh of RSPB, Gary Porter of LGA and John Rhodes of Quod.  The document represents the independent but collective views of the group.  The NPPF is intended to replace the current raft of planning policy guidance notes and planning policy statements which have been produced over time.  The Framework runs to 55 pages and addresses a variety of topics including the issue of delivering sustainable development and the presumption in favour of sustainable development.

Michael Gallimore, Head of Planning at Hogan Lovells, commented:

"The practitioners advisory group has proposed a draft NPPF which is a bold attempt to encapsulate national planning policy in a single document.  It grapples with a number of complicated issues and some of the tensions which are inherent in the planning system.  Consistent with recent statements from the Government, the Framework puts economic growth right at the forefront of the planning agenda.  Further, the recognition that there need be no inconsistency between the promotion of increased levels of development and the protection of the environment is to be welcomed.  That is a balancing act which can and needs to be achieved.

The group has recommended that the NPPF, when it is finalised by Government, should have immediate effect.  This would mean that existing Local Plans which are not consistent with the NPPF would take a back seat and that the NPPF would provide the framework for planning decisions in the interim.  It is vital that there is clarity on this important issue going forward so that the thrust of the Framework's policies takes precedence whilst Local Plans are brought up to date."

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