Wednesday, 25 July 2018

The new National Policy Planning Framework "is a developers' charter"

The 'new' NPPF was published yesterday:
Government’s new planning rulebook to deliver more quality, well-designed homes - GOV.UK

Not everyone is impressed, as reported by the Local Government Lawyer:
Local Government Lawyer - Councils criticise delivery test as revised National Planning Policy Framework issued

And the Telegraph:
Green belt land 'under threat because of Government's new planning policy', campaigners claim

And the Mail: 

Council chiefs claim planning overhaul is a developers' charter that could see local objections to new house building ignored to hit targets

> Housing Secretary James Brokenshire unveiled a 'housing delivery test' today
> Developers set to be allowed to override a rejection of planning permission
> Local Government Association insisted it would 'punish' communities


PUBLISHED: 24 July 2018 |

Council chiefs today warned the Government was creating a developers' charter that could see local objections to house building ignored to hit targets.

Under new rules unveiled today, housebuilders would be able to ignore local plans for mapping areas for homes if fewer than 75 per cent of those required by Whitehall targets for 2020 are constructed. It means in some cases developers could be able to override a rejection of planning permission by appealing over local councillors.

Council chiefs today warned the Government was creating a developers' charter that could see local objections to house building ignored to hit targets (file image)

The Local Government Association (LGA) claimed the new 'housing delivery test' would 'punish communities' opposed to bad developments. The test is part of the new national policy planning framework (NPPF) announced by Communities Secretary James Brokenshire on Tuesday. Mr Brokenshire said the rules would create a planning system 'fit for the future' which married requirements for building numbers, build quality and environmental requirements.

But Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, said the plan failed to give councils the powers they needed 'to ensure homes with planning permission are built out quickly, with the necessary infrastructure, in their local communities'. He said: 'It is hugely disappointing that the Government has not listened to our concerns about nationally set housing targets, and will introduce a delivery test that punishes communities for homes not built by private developers. Councils work hard with communities to get support for good-quality housing development locally, and there is a risk these reforms will lead to locally agreed plans being bypassed by national targets.

'Planning is not a barrier to housebuilding, and councils are approving nine out of 10 applications. To boost the supply of homes and affordability, it is vital to give councils powers to ensure homes with permission are built, enable all councils to borrow to build, keep 100 per cent of Right to Buy receipts and set discounts locally.'

In a written ministerial statement Mr Brokenshire told the Commons that the NPPF 'provides greater certainty for local authorities in the decision-making and planning appeals processes', adding: 'A new Housing Delivery Test will also measure delivery of homes, with consequences for under-delivery.'

The British Property Federation said it welcomed the test. Ian Fletcher, its director of real estate policy, said: 'This will provide a consistent measure against which different local authorities' performances can be compared. This is the way that the Government will deliver on its housing promises, and as importantly, cater for a generation that wants to have a home to call their own.'

Council chiefs claim planning overhaul is a developers' charter | Daily Mail Online

With comment from the East Devon Watch:
National Planning Policy Framework | East Devon Watch

And a depressing current example from Buddleigh:
Neighbouhood plans, conservation areas – who cares? Not EDDC | East Devon Watch

The Campaign to Protect Rural England agrees with the common response:

New ‘planning rulebook’ heavily criticised by CPRE

24 July 2018

New ‘planning rulebook’ heavily criticised by CPRE
The Campaign to Protect Rural England has labelled the revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) a ‘speculative developers’ charter’, as the government published its new planning rulebook earlier today (24 July).
Despite a promise to ‘build attractive and better-designed homes in areas where they are needed’, CPRE points out that far from fulfilling this promise, the NPPF will continue to favour the delivery of any development, rather than development that meets communities’ needs, respects the environment, and adheres to policies in the NPPF other than those which deal with housing delivery.
CPRE’s key concern is the new ‘housing delivery test’. The NPPF continues to encourage councils to set high targets for housing delivery and this new policy has been produced to enforce this delivery. However, the ‘housing delivery test’ will penalise councils when house builders fail to deliver homes in their areas by removing local control over planning decisions. This in turn will leave them and the countryside open to speculative development.
CPRE have a number of other concerns, including:
  • a failure to provide an effective brownfield first policy
  • the continuing failure to support provision of affordable housing in rural areas
  • the discouragement of neighbourhood planning because of uncertainty over the validity of plans older than two years
  • continued implicit support for hydraulic fracturing for shale oil and gas, despite massive public opposition and little evidence of need

Matt Thomson, Head of Planning at the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said:
‘Rather than delivering “what communities want” as 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 countryside destroyed for no good reason.’
Despite heavy criticism of the revised NPPF, CPRE are pleased to see that government has taken some positive actions. They include:
  • National Parks and AONBs reinstated as having the ‘highest status of protection’
  • maintaining Green Belt protections and an improved definition ‘exceptional circumstances’ for releasing land from Green Belts
  • improved clarity and focus for policies on making better use of land
  • clearer guidance for viability assessment and that price paid for land should never be a justification for viability revisions
  • excluding National Parks, AONBs and Green Belts from the Entry Level Exceptions Sites policy
  • ‘Social housing’ being reinstated in the definition of affordable housing.

CPRE will be providing further analysis of the revised NPPF shortly.

New ‘planning rulebook’ heavily criticised by CPRE - Campaign to Protect Rural England

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