National Planning Policy Framework Important Update
||31 May 2011
As you’re no doubt aware the Government propose to publish the draft National Planning Policy Framework (“NPPF”) for consultation in mid-July. This will consolidate all policy statements, circulars and guidance documents and (with no sense of hyperbole) the proposed revisions have been described by the HBF as “the most important proposals since World War 2”.
The emphasis is on achieving economic growth by stimulating the development industry and it is therefore imperative that the new system reflects the views and opinions of the industry rather than just Civil Servants. In that regard in December 2010 Greg Clark MP, the Minister for Decentralisation and Planning, invited the formation of an independent advisory group to provide a practitioners perspective on what the NPPF should contain. The resultant Practitioners Advisory Group (“PAG”) worked together to find common ground and to reach a consensus on what planning policy would be required to promote increased levels of development and deliver sustainable development whilst protecting and enhancing the environment.
Their submission to Government represents their independent but collective views and is intended to be a useful contribution to the debate about how to reform and simplify national planning policy – it is therefore only 55 pages long - and was submitted to the Minister on the 20th May 2011; the document can be downloaded here.
However, whilst the CLG have confirmed that they “will be considering all comments we receive on the Practitioner Group’s draft document” there has been very little publicity to emphasise that the PAG publication is an important stage in the consultation process; bearing in mind the anticipated publication date, any comments or suggested amendments should therefore be submitted as soon as possible. These can be sent via the PAG (email@example.com) or, directly to the CLG (Helen.Keen@communities.gsi.gov.uk).
It’s not often that the development industry gets the chance to influence the overarching policy boundaries we all operate within and, at a time of historically low new supply figures, a growing shortage of housing and an industry striving to repair its finances, it’s vital that we make our voices heard. At Pioneer we therefore urge you to forward this email to your contacts, clients and colleagues: consider the PAG draft and submit your comments via the above links. It will take very little of your time and it really is that important.