Likely revision to NPPF at end of 2017
Steve Quartermain, the Department for Communities and Local Government’s chief planner, has announced that the Government is likely to be working on revisions of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) “…towards the back end of the year.”
The revisions shall follow a consultation announced by Communities Secretary Sajid Javid, which seeks to set out options for introducing a proposed standardised approach to assessing housing requirements. Quartermain stated that “…the results of that consultation, which will be no later than the summer, will then lead in to what will ... be a review of the NPPF.”
The review is required to reflect changes to the process for assessing local areas’ housing need, and, according to Quartermain, shall also include the “…half a dozen written ministerial statements, which have been published following the publication of the NPPF in 2012.” The ‘scope’ of the revisions has yet to be finalised, however Quartermain states that Government wants to see greater use made of neighbourhood developments orders, which can be used to grant planning permission for specified developments in a neighbourhood area. He stated that “…we think there’s a greater opportunity for neighbourhood development orders to be used to actually bring forward sites in rural communities,” considering that while around 340 neighbourhood plans have materialised, there have been only five neighbourhood development orders.
Bearing in mind only around half of neighbourhood plans allocate sites for housing, Quartermain stated that “…it is a real opportunity for rural communities to have a real say in making sure that planning delivers the outcomes they want.”