The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) invited comments on its draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) published in July 2011. The Framework seeks to reduce over 1000 pages of planning guidance for England to under 60.
Planning is an important topic for the development and management of infrastructure. With input from existing panels, from individual members, and in discussion with other institutions, ICE developed the response available at the link below.
The key points of our response are that:
■ ICE welcomes the Government’s intention to simplify planning guidance and to make sustainable development the purpose of the planning system. The draft NPPF gives a good general overview of the Government’s objectives for planning but there are important clarifications and drafting amendments required to ensure that these objectives are achieved
■ ICE has particular concerns about the impact of the NPPF in a period where there is limited local plan coverage. The Framework rightly establishes the importance of local plans – but does not appropriately address the implications of their short-medium scarcity. A specific concern is the NPPF’s statement that planning authorities should “Grant permission where the plan is absent, silent, indeterminate or where relevant policies are out of date”.
■ We are concerned that the wording of some sections, particularly on Transport, allows unsustainable development to be permitted
■ Feedback from ICE practitioners suggest that many of the valuable gains in coastal defence and management practice achieves via PPS25 may be undermined by the new guidance
■ The lack of coverage of energy and waste issues should be re-considered
■ The provisions for “Local Green Space” designations are somewhat unclear. We would like greater certainty that these cannot be used as a general anti-development tool
For more information, please contact Duncan Neish (email@example.com)