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The new NPPF has finally arrived

27 July 2018

The revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) has been published following an extensive consultation period. The revisions include:

  • a new housing delivery test for local authorities who will now be penalised where they under perform on the delivery of homes. This shifts the focus from the granting of permission to the amount of homes delivered by developers
  • a standardised method of calculating housing need. This may avoid some of the protracted negotiations at local plan examinations, but is it right for all areas?
  • plan reviews will need to be every five years where local housing need is expected to change significantly in the near future.

The new NPPF, as expected, focusses mainly on housing delivery. It undoubtedly puts further pressure on local authorities to deliver housing (not just authorise planning permissions) despite most local authorities not having the capacity to undertake development themselves. The changes will mean that local plans will need to be updated as soon as possible, or risk being found out of date. Whilst the exact effect of the new NPPF is not yet known, what is certain is that local authority planners are going to find their workload increases.

We will be producing a more substantial update on the changes shortly.

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