Media Briefing Note: National Planning Policy Framework and Consultation

LONDON, 26 July 2011 - The Communities and Local Government Department yesterday published the draft National Planning Policy Framework for consultation, which will close on 17 October 2011.


Commenting on the draft, Michael Gallimore, Head of Planning at Hogan Lovells, said:


"The draft National Planning Policy Framework provides a very clear signal of the Government's commitment to growth and economic development.  The planning system will need to play its part in meeting that new agenda.  Developers, local planning authorities and communities will need to adjust to the new mind-set that all development proposals should be approved wherever possible.


The direction of travel is flagged throughout the draft Framework.  For instance, a key shift is in the move from "development control" to "development management".  Instead of finding reasons to resist development, local authorities will need to adapt to approving development provided that the key sustainability principles are met.  The Framework does, however, recognise the need for an appropriate balance and that development should be of good design and appropriately located.  The Framework does not provide a blank cheque to approve every planning application, but it does set down a new start point when considering applications.


The presumption in favour of sustainable development is clearly set out and is stated to be "at the heart of the planning system".  As a means of supporting sustainable economic growth, it is particularly significant that all Plans at the local level should not only be based up on the presumption in favour of sustainable development but should also themselves "contain" the presumption, with clear policies to guide how the presumption will be applied locally.


The Framework also recognises that viability has a key role to play in the planning process.  Viability is a theme which runs throughout the document - for example the statement that local planning authorities should avoid unnecessary conditions or Section 106 obligations particularly where this would undermine the viability of development proposals.  This guidance is particularly important in the current economic climate."




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