The government has published the much-anticipated revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) on 24th July 2018. The document sets out the Government’s planning policies for England and how these should be applied.
The document is the first revision since the original NPPF was published in March 2012 more than six years ago and includes changes that were provided as part of the Draft NPPF which was consulted on earlier this year.
The revised document provides a stronger focus on high-quality design whilst continuing to promote sustainable development. Home Secretary James Brokenshire explained that ‘I am clear that quantity must never compromise the quality of what is built, and this is reflected in the new rules’. He also considered that the new framework would aim to make it easier to challenge poor design quality and give communities a greater say in the design of development proposals.
The revised NPPF also introduces a new housing delivery tests for local authorities which proposes to measure the number of homes built against the local housing need. In addition, it proposes to penalise councils that underdeliver housing provision over a three-year period and it includes a standardised method for calculating housing need.
The new framework also provides greater emphasis on the development of small and medium sized sites for housing and reinstates the reference to the Climate Change Act 2008.
This new national planning policy will be a material consideration in planning decisions and council planning policy documents going forward and therefore it’s publication and interpretation is significant.