NPPF to remain unchanged

The new government’s planning chief has ‘no interest’ in revisiting the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) chief planner Steve Quartermain said last week that his ministerial team believes the NPPF, issued in March 2012, sets out what the planning system is for and what local planning authorities should be doing.

“That includes development to a higher standard,” Quartermain told the Planning Officers Society’s spring conference in Dorchester on Friday. “The NPPF says that if you get poor design, you should refuse it.”

He said that it remains a “significant part” of the government’s approach that communities should have more of a say through neighbourhood development plans (NDPs). Results from the first 70-plus neighbourhood plan referendums, showing an average “yes” vote of 88 per cent and a 35 per cent turnout, show that communities are keen to promote development, he said.

“We would like to see a lot more neighbourhood development orders coming forward to give permission for particular developments that communities want,” he added.

Commenting on the government’s manifesto commitment to have planning permission in place for new homes on 90 per cent of suitable brownfield sites by 2020, Quartermain said that government estimates point to 200,000 plots, “but we would like to see more”.

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