Government publishes revised NPPF

The revised framework was published on Tuesday 24 July 2018 and tightens definitions on the presumption in favour of sustainable development, increases the emphasis on high-quality design and place-making, while stressing the importance of digital technology and recognising the role of planning in creating healthy and safe communities.

Local Planning Authorities now have a deadline of 24 January 2019 to submit emerging Local Plans to the Secretary of State for Examination to avoid having to use housing targets by means of the new standard methodology in their strategic policies. Even if they meet that deadline, the new requirement to review Local Plans at least every five years will prevent the targets being thrown into the long grass indefinitely.

The new methodology now applies as the starting point for calculating five-year housing land supply, except where adopted Local Plans are less than five years old (a circumstance that is surprisingly rare). The definition of ‘deliverable’ sites that can legitimately be included in five-year supply is also tightened. Both changes will make it increasingly difficult for many authorities to demonstrate a five-year supply.

The Housing Delivery Test is also confirmed for introduction from November 2018 onwards, focusing on driving up the numbers of homes delivered rather than how many are planned for. This will penalise councils that under-deliver over three years.

The RTPI said that the new NPPF will put LPA planning teams under ‘significant pressure’.

Housing Secretary James Brokenshire stated that “this revised planning framework sets out our vision of a planning system that delivers the homes we need. I am clear that quantity must never compromise the quality of what is built, and this is reflected in the new rules.”

The full NPPF document can be accessed here

Author: Claudia Dietz


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