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MPs call for National Planning Policy Framework review

Published: Thursday, 7th April 2016

MPs have called on the government to carry-out a comprehensive review of national planning policy before the end of this parliament.

That call came from the Commons Communities and Local Government Committee in a report last week which considered the administration’s latest proposed changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).  

The all-party group of MPs voiced concern that there had been “no robust, objective or evidence-based monitoring, evaluation or review” of the NPPF since its publication in 2012.

The committee also expressed frustration that, four years on from the publication of the NPPF, some 17 per cent of local authorities still have not published an up to date local plan while 34 per cent were without an adopted plan.

The committee reiterated its predecessor’s argument that a statutory duty should be placed on local authorities to produce and maintain local plans.

The MPs also urged the Department for Communities and Local Government to look at the powers local authorities ought to have in order to require or encourage developers to build out sites in their areas.

In addition the report called for greater clarity about the definition of 'brownfield sites' and about how a presumption in favour of development will operate alongside brownfield site registers and the new permission in principle (PiP) regime.

Committee chair Clive Betts MP said: "At a time of significant change for the planning and housing sectors, it’s important that people are reassured that the NPPF works effectively and that it supports sustainable development in their communities.

“The government needs to ensure there is confidence in the planning system by carrying out a comprehensive review of the NPPF by the end of this Parliament".

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Roger Milne