Legal Assistants (Litigation and Planning)
Clark unveils revised planning framework, gives councils 12 months to adjust plans PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 27 March 2012 00:00

The Government has today published the revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), which comes into immediate effect for plan-making and decisions.

In a statement to MPs, Planning Minister Greg Clark announced that – under transitional arrangements agreed with the Local Government Association – councils would have 12 months from publication to adjust existing plans to ensure complete conformity with the framework. He added that he had also made it clear that weight could be given to emerging plans.

Clark said: “It has always been my intention that councils who have done the right thing and either adopted, or have made good progress towards adopting local plans, will not be disadvantaged by the change to new policy.”

The NPPF has been designed to reduce 1,300 pages of policy – contained in 44 different documents – to just 50 pages in a single booklet.

The framework still contains the controversial presumption in favour of sustainable development, which ministers insisted would be “powerful” and underpin all local plans and decisions.

Inclusion of the presumption in the draft NPPF published in July 2011 prompted attacks from a range of organisations, including the National Trust.

Clark said the final framework made it “crystal clear” that sustainable development embraced social and environmental as well as economic objectives and did so “in a balanced way”. It also refers explicitly to the five principles of the UK Sustainable Development Strategy, he said.

The Minister added that other key elements of the NPPF remained following the consultation, including the local plan being enshrined as the “keystone” of the planning system.

Clark insisted as well that the document guaranteed “robust protections for our natural and historic environment, including the Green Belt, National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Sites of Special Scientific Interest”. Relevant policies could not be overridden by the presumption, he argued.

The Minister also said the framework:

  • Made it explicit that the presumption of sustainable development worked through, and not against, local plans;
  • Recognised the “intrinsic value and beauty of the countryside (whether specifically designated or not)”;
  • Made explicit “what was always implicit” – that councils’ policies must encourage brownfield sites to be brought back into use;
  • Underlined the importance of town centres, “while recognising that businesses in rural communities should be free to expand”;
  • Took a localist approach to creating a buffer of housing supply over and above five years, and in the use of windfall sites;
  • Allowed councils to protect back gardens; and
  • Ensured that playing fields continued to benefit from the same protection they do now.

Clark said he had accepted either in whole or in part 30 out of 35 recommendations made by the Communities and Local Government select committee.

He added: "The new Framework has been strengthened by the responses to the consultation. We have confirmed the core reforms, sharpened the definition of the policies, and emphasised the essential balance that the planning system must achieve.

"These reforms will help build the homes the next generation needs, it will let businesses expand and create jobs, and it will conserve what we hold dear in our matchless countryside and the fabric of our history."

A copy of the NPPF can be found here. Technical guidance to the framework can also be seen here.

The neighbourhood planning regulations – which detail the requirements for designating neighbourhood areas and forums and preparing key elements of neighbourhood development plans, neighbourhood development orders and Community Right to Build orders – have been laid before Parliament. The Government’s intention is that they will come into force on 6 April 2012.

See also: The revised National Planning Policy Framework - the reaction

 

Latest News

April 24, 2014

Infrastructure and planning trio return to Bircham Dyson Bell

Three specialist major infrastructure and planning lawyers are to rejoin Bircham Dyson Bell less than a year after leaving for a rival law firm. Read more
April 09, 2014

County council scraps energy from waste contract at cost of £30m-plus

A county council is to terminate a £600m waste contract at a cost of more than £30m, blaming the “failure to secure satisfactory planning permission”. Read more
April 03, 2014

Campaigners rule out further appeal over redevelopment of football ground

Campaigners who sought to have the planning permission for the redevelopment of Bristol Rovers’ Memorial Ground quashed have ruled out taking the case to the Court of Appeal on costs grounds. Read more
April 01, 2014

London borough to use s. 106 agreements to tackle 'buy-to-leave' homes

A London borough is consulting on plans to use s. 106 agreements to tackle the issue of “buy-to-leave” homes. Read more
March 31, 2014

Campaigners net hearing over planning permission for QPR training ground

Campaigners seeking to challenge Ealing Council’s decision to grant Queen’s Park Rangers planning permission for the redevelopment of a sports ground and to give the club a 200-year lease have been granted an oral… Read more
March 27, 2014

Court backs decision to pay only 20% of £250k recommended by LGO

A district council has fended off a judicial review challenge to its decision to pay a complainant only 20% of a £250,000 sum recommended by the Local Government Ombudsman. Read more

 

Features

Planning 146x219
April 24, 2014

New permitted development rights in force

Polly Reynolds outlines the new permitted development rights introduced earlier this month. Read more
Money iStock 000008683901XSmall 146x219
April 16, 2014

Setting planning fees

Should local authorities be allowed to set their own planning fees? Polly Reynolds examines recent developments. Read more
April 16, 2014

Recent changes to the CIL regime: a summary

Jonathan Darby provides a summary of recent changes that affected the Community Infrastructure Levy. Read more
April 02, 2014

The Planning Court comes into being

Richard Harwood OBE QC analyses the introduction of a Planning Court this week and outlines the key changes. Read more
April 02, 2014

Are local authorities bound by Ombudsman recommendations?

A High Court judge recently ruled that a council's decision to pay a developer only 20% of the £250,000 recommended by the Local Government Ombudsman was lawful. Nicholas Dobson analyses the case. Read more
April 02, 2014

Retrospective validation, exceptional circumstances and the Whitley principle

The High Court recently upheld approvals for Cardiff’s Energy from Waste scheme. Simon Bird QC analyses the case. Read more
April 02, 2014

Further chinks in the armour of town and village green status

Polly Reynolds analyses the likely impact of a key Supreme Court ruling on rectification of the register of town and village greens. Read more

 

Older news and features

March 05, 2014

Core stability

March 05, 2014

The sound and the fury

February 26, 2014

Applying the sequential test

February 13, 2014

Action stations

Click here for full section archive

Now Previewing on LGL.tv: Green Belt Development - The Legal Issues (Click on bottom right of screen for full size.)

Featured Jobs

Ashford Borough Council Planning Lawyer
East Sussex Solicitor Planning and Highways


CLICK HERE to search all current vacancies

Featured Courses & Events

50% off LGLtv subscriptions

Sign up for Courses and Events Updates

* indicates required

Services v2

Yellow pages iStock 000009762383XSmall cropTo access details of individual advertisers, please click on the relevant banner below.

To search all entries in the Local Government Lawyer Services Directory, please click here

 

Ivy Legal
Easton Bevins Chartered Surveyors

 


 Shout_to_the_top_looking_left_iStock_000006002590XSmall_98x74 Latest Blog Posts

 

 


 

Ballot_iStock_000006080605XSmall_thumb

Snap Judgement

Is the role of monitoring officer worth the risk?