Revised National Planning Policy Framework provokes mixed feelings

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National Planning Policy Framework

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) launched by the Government yesterday (Tuesday 24th 2018), has garnered mix reviews from professionals across the planning sector

The revised framework has replaced the last planning policy document that was created in 2012.

Detailing areas for improvement such as decision making, making effective use of land and protecting the green belt, the NPPF acts as a benchmark of quality and assists planners who are looking to build housing and other developments in the UK.

Naturally, the National Planning Policy Framework has been met by a range of different views across the planning industry.

Welcoming the revised framework, Dr Nelson Ogunshakin OBE, chief executive of Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE), said: “I am delighted to see that the government has adopted the principles laid out in ACE’s report, Unlocking Housing.

“When they work, cities and towns are powerful places. They support our lives, answer our needs, solve our problems and create opportunities. They bring people together, and they create circumstances that generate wealth and wellbeing. Designed well, their energy and sense of life motivates, entertains, and inspires.

“Yet our cities and towns are not just buildings, they are more than just a collection of housing, transport and office spaces. They are living, breathing communities of people. Identity, pride, ownership, good citizenship and neighbourliness all make the places we inhabit and the cities that we live in.

“Good design of our urban spaces and the infrastructure that supports them can allow our communities to prosper while poor design can lead to them decaying and withering away.

“The promotion of greater community engagement in development schemes, the use of better design principles, a more integrated approach to community infrastructure needs and greater local authority accountability are all key issues that we need if we are to solve our housing crisis. The new NPPF is a step in the right direction to solving the UK’s housing crisis”.

Matt Thomson, Head of Planning at the Campaign to Protect Rural England, saw the plans in a different light: “Rather than delivering ‘what communities want’ as it it claims to promise, the new planning rulebook and its new ‘housing delivery test’ will result in almost all local plans becoming out of date within two years. It is a speculative developers’ charter and will lead to the death of the plan-led system.

“Without a local plan, councils and communities have little control over the location and type of developments that take place. This results in the wrong developments in the wrong places – local communities’ needs are ignored and valued counrtyside destroyed for no good reason.”

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