The draft revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) is now out for a consultation closing 10 May, with changes largely driven by housing concerns as demonstrated in the supporting documents and the more reserved position on sustainable development, as well as the reduction in references (and cross-references to heritage considerations).
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The consultation includes ‘a full package of documents to support the consultation’, including ‘for reference the draft planning practice guidance on viability and the housing delivery test measurement rulebook.’
The draft revised National Planning Policy Framework incorporates policy proposals previously consulted on in the Housing White Paper and the Planning for the right homes in the right places consultation – the government responses to these are available at the respective consultation pages.
Budget 2017 included additional proposals to change planning policy and legislation to bring forward more land in the right places. This consultation seeks views on these additional policy proposals. The below National Planning Policy Framework consultation document sets out these proposals and the consultation questions. Details of how to respond to the consultation can be found in this document, and there is a link to an online survey at the bottom of this page.
Download the documents:
National Planning Policy Framework: consultation proposals
National Planning Policy Framework: draft text for consultation
Draft planning practice guidance for viability
Housing Delivery Test: draft measurement rule book
The Heritage Alliance writes in its Heritage Update:
This revised Framework makes a number structural changes such as dividing the document into chapters and both incorporates policy proposals on which have been consulted on and additional proposals.
An initial analysis suggests that the revision does not appear to make major changes to heritage protection policy. In new Chapter 16, Conserving and enhancing the historic environment, paragraph 182 has been revised to clarify that World Heritage Sites are recognised internationally for their Outstanding Universal Value and that this forms part of their significance and should be taken into account.
Paragraph 189 has been revised to clarify that when considering the impact of a proposed development on a designated heritage asset, decision-makers should give great weight to the asset’s conservation irrespective of whether the potential harm to its significance amounts to ‘less than substantial harm’ or ‘substantial harm or total loss’ of significance.
However, a key concern is the weight heritage protection this is given. A proposal that the Alliance strongly objected to in its Housing White Paper response has been taken forward. The presumption in favour of sustainable development currently includes examples of policies which provide a specific reason for restricting development. This is proposed to be changed to a defined list, heavily skewed towards the natural environment, which is set out at footnote 7 and includes Ancient Woodland and aged or veteran trees but excludes key heritage concepts such as Conservation Areas, World Heritage Sites or non- designated heritage assets.
The Government states that this approach does not preclude other policies being used to limit development where the presumption applies, but only’ if the adverse impacts of granting permission would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits’ this will obviously mean that these heritage protection policies will have significantly less weight in the planning process.
View Heritage Update