Well, the day has finally come. The Government has published its National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and we welcome improvements which have been made to the draft.
Here’s our Director-General Dame Fiona Reynolds’ take on it in her own words:
“There are a number of important changes that have been made to the draft, responding to concerns that we and others raised.
- the primacy of the plan is confirmed, ensuring that development must be consistent with the plan
- a better definition of sustainable development, based on the 2005 sustainable development strategy
- the insertion of references to the use of brownfield land and the need to promote town centres
- removal of the incendiary default ‘yes’ to development where there is no plan
- reference to the ‘intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside’, recognising the importance of countryside outside designated areas
- confirmation that existing plans will remain in force while the new NPPF is introduced, and that there will be a one-year transition for the preparation of new plans
“All these changes improve the document and give it a better tone and balance.
“Now the serious business of planning begins. The country needs huge effort at a local level to get plans in place that properly reflect the integration of social, economic and environmental goals, and protect places people value.
“The National Trust, along with many other organisations and people, will play our part and watch to see how it works in practice.
“Over 230,000 people signed our petition against the draft NPPF – a sign of the huge public concern it generated. Now we owe it to them and future generations to get good plans in place to deliver the improved ambitions set out in the new document.”
Download the final National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF – PDF; 1.29 MB) to read in more detail for yourself.
Blog by Kate Joynes-Burgess, Social Media & Communities Manager