Brace yourself for planning storm

This week  saw the government publishing its new national planning policy framework that is somehow intended to square the circle of promoting growth, localism and sustainability all at the same time.

The 50 page document will replace nearly a million words and more than a thousand pages of planning rules.

In his budget statement last week, chancellor George Osborne said that there would be a “presumption in favour of sustainable development”. He described the new planning framework as “the biggest reduction in business red tape ever undertaken”.

Mr Osborne said: “Global businesses have diverted specific investments that would have created hundreds of jobs in some of the most deprived communities in Britain to countries like Germany and the Netherlands, because they couldn’t get planning permission here.”

On this basis, the new policy document is likely to be welcomed by the construction industry but will create uproar among conservation, countryside and heritage groups.

Not only will the new framework be hugely controversial, whatever it says, because planning always is, there could also be problems for local authorities.

Property consultant Drivers Jonas Deloitte says that local authorities who have produced local plans could find them inconsistent with, or even contradicting, national planning policy.  Head of planning John Adams said: “It is great to see a new presumption in favour of sustainable development, as part of a suite of policies designed to promote growth.  However, local authorities who have rightly pressed ahead with local plans as part of the government’s localism agenda could find them inconsistent with the framework.

“Many councils have been arguing that there needs to be a ‘transition’ period and that the national planning policy framework (NPPF) will need to be brought in incrementally, to allow local authorities to amend their plans to make them ‘NPPF-proof’. Others have argued that ‘growth’ cannot be put on hold and the NPPF policies will need to come into immediate effect and with full force. We will hopefully get some guidance on how to straddle this divide.”


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4 thoughts on “Brace yourself for planning storm

  1. It’ll be interesting to see how this plans out. The ideal scenario for all would be somewhere in the middle but I’m sure the government will make a mess of this just like most things. Got to run to get a cold sausage roll before filling up my car 🙂

  2. Well we could do with something to boost the economy. We sell various pumps (submersible pumps, grundfos pumps, lowara pumps etc) and we have noticed the decline in work. More construction will be good for everyone.

  3. About time there was a national planning policy framework.

    50 page document seems better than a million words and more than a thousand pages of planning rules!

    Certainly a need for a reduction in business red tape.

    Let’s hope this helps us get more Pumps out of the doors too.

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