A revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) was published for consultation on 5th March 2018 as part of a package of planning reform measures. Launched by the Prime Minister and Secretary of State, the revisions represent the biggest shake up of planning policy since the NPPF was introduced in 2012.
Maximising the use of land, strengthened protections for the Green Belt and a greater emphasis on converting planning permissions into homes are at the heart of new planning reforms aimed at boosting the delivery of housing. The headline proposals and changes are:
- Amendments to the presumption in favour of sustainable development. Irreplaceable habitats such as ancient woodland and veteran trees have been added to the list of designations where development should be restricted.
- Encouraging Local Planning Authorities to shorten the time limit for the implementation of planning permissions to less than 3 years.
- Local Plans to be reviewed every 5 years.
- Major housing development should be subject to at least 10% affordable housing unless the local housing need is less.
- Specialist accommodation, self-build projects and Build to Rent schemes should be exempt from affordable housing.
- Entry-level housing for first time buyers and renters to be possible on rural exception sites.
- 20% of housing allocations should be on small sites (half a hectare or less)
- Green Belt policy tightened through the requirement that, where Green Belt is to be released, Local Authorities should firstly consider previously developed land or land well served by public transport.
- Minimum densities for city and town centres and in areas where there is a shortage of housing land to meet needs.
- Recognition that sites to meet local business and community needs in rural areas may have to be found outside existing settlements, and in locations not well served by public transport.
Batcheller Monkhouse will be submitting a response to the consultation. Please get in touch with our Planning Team to discuss the possible implications for you.
Clare Bartlett BSc DipTP MRTPI PIEMA
Kirsty Castle BSc PGDIP MRTPI AIEMA