The new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) for the UK was published yesterday by the Planning Minister, Greg Clark. The changes were necessary as the planning system has become increasingly convoluted over the years, resulting in not enough new homes being built during the last decade.
Greg Clark also felt many previous developments had been insensitively done, and didn't benefit the local environment. He is hoping the new framework will enable more jobs and homes to be created, while preserving the towns, cities and countryside for future generations.
Several changes have been made to the draft document, including a better definition of sustainable development, and these have been welcomed by the British Property Federation. Amendments include the requirement to build on brown field sites before green field sites, and the new framework will take immediate effect, enabling local authorities to put a plan into place, as around half have yet to do so. Those local authorities who already have a good track record for allocating land for the use of housing are now required to earmark a five-year supply plus an additional 5%. Other local authorities have to earmark a five-year supply plus an additional 20%.
Liz Pearce, chief executive of the British Property Federation commented on the new framework saying:
"We believe the NPPF is now a more moderate and sensible document. The changes to the framework do not, however, alter its overall objective of supporting well-planned sustainable growth within a streamlined, plan-led system. What's needed now is to clarify over how the NPPF is going to be implemented. Urgent questions remain over how local authorities should determine how many homes and jobs they need, and what the guidance that underpins the NPFF should be."
The new framework has generally received a favorable reception throughout the building industry in the UK, and many organizations are pleased confusing bureaucratic laws are being simplified although some feel more be done to provide more housing, in particular allowing commercial properties to be converted without having to obtain extra consent.