10 May 2018
As of 10th May, the UK Government has officially concluded the consultation period for its revised draft of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The full text of our response can be read here.
A range of measures to promote increased rates of housing delivery are spread throughout the draft and, as a package, are likely to have some success. While we welcome many of these, there are inevitable ‘stings in the tail’ for developers and local authorities alike. Our response argues that clarification is needed in several specific areas and also that certain stakeholders in the planning process are not included to the extent that they ought to be.
Our response notes that the importance of aligning strategies for housing and employment growth has been diluted from the current NPPF and needs to be reintroduced as an essential element of sustainable development. We also support greater engagement with Local Enterprise Partnerships, in the plan-making process, and with the development industry and land owners in order to ensure that any assumptions made are realistic and robust.
A central feature of the draft is a much-anticipated, standard for calculating local housing needs - the objectively assesed needs (OAN) methodology. While supportive of the introduction of a standard methodology, we had previously expressed concerns on this and our response to the draft reiterated our opinion, as one of the largest planning consultancies in the UK, that the OAN does not recognise the link between economic growth aspirations and housing need.
Click here to read our full response.