Consultation on NPPF underway
The National Planning Policy Framework is gearing up for a series of major changes through a set of reforms that are undergoing consultation through 2 March.
The NPPF is a crucial document for those within the planning sector, providing details regarding government policies for development in England.
Consultation began on Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill: reforms to national planning policy on 22 December. The updates are meant to achieve five objectives:
- Building beautiful and refusing ugliness: Achieved by requiring every local planning authority to create an area design code that sets minimum standards for development.
- Securing the infrastructure needed to support development: Achieved by introducing an infrastructure levy, infrastructure delivery strategies, and land auction powers.
- More democratic engagement with communities on local plans: Achieved by requiring local authorities to prepare local plans within a two-year timeframe and with more community consultation.
- Better environmental outcomes: Achieved by re-evaluating the framework to ensure it encourages climate change mitigation and adaptation.
- Empowering communities to shape their neighbourhoods: Achieved by increasing the weight given towards neighbourhood plans, introducing neighbourhood priorities statements, and implementing a street votes system.
The government said these updates would enable the delivery of more homes in the right places, reiterating a commitment to building 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s. In December, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities said that while building 300,000 homes is still the goal, housing targets will become “a starting point with new flexibilities to reflect local circumstance”, rather than hard-and-fast rules.