Government (finally) set to publish draft NPPF revisions

26 January 2018

The Government has announced it plans to publish the long-awaited draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) revisions by the end of March 2018.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) first consulted on changes to the NPPF back in December 2015 and received over 1,100 responses. The Government has since been considering the comments. The revisions to the NPPF were originally expected in summer 2016, but this initially slipped to autumn 2016, followed by further delays.

In December last year Melanie Dawes, Permanent Secretary for the MHCLG, indicated at the Communities and Local Government Committee that she expected the revised NPPF document to be ready for consultation in the next few months, and hoped that it would be published before Easter. So watch this space…!

The revised document is expected to include measures that were consulted on in 2015, and also measures that were announced more recently in the Budget. The latter included a proposal to take allocated sites out of local plans where there is no prospect of the allocated use coming forward, and a new policy in favour of housing developments that provide a high proportion of homes either discounted for first time buyers or for affordable rent.

As a reminder, the proposed measures set out in the initial consultation on revisions to the NPPF in 2015 included the following:

  • Sanctions for the under-delivery of housing targets
  • Local Planning Authorities told to plan for those who aspire to home ownership
  • Encouragement for higher densities around commuter hubs
  • New policy backing for new settlements
  • A presumption in favour of brownfield housing development

For advice on the proposed changes and how these could impact on your investment plans, please do not hesitate to contact Planning Potential to discuss.