5 March 2018
The Government has published the consultation document on the revisions to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
The document, made up of 17 chapters, formulates 43 questions tackling the local plan-making process and some of the more prominent barriers to growth. There are revisions to design, services, transport, climate change, local economy, and the green belt. In addition, starter homes are mentioned.
The National Federation of Builders (NFB) welcomes the consultation document’s approach to local planning, which local developers often identify as a barrier to securing deliverable planning permissions.
The NFB has often urged local authorities to pay more attention to identifying small and medium sites in their five year land supply plans. These sites do not place undue strain on the existing infrastructure, are developed relatively quickly, and attract local developers, who employ and train locally.
With local authorities sometimes failing to recognise this intrinsic value, the NFB is delighted to see the Government identifying small sites in terms of tangible policy and opening the discussion to medium sized sites.
After supporting the Government’s ambitions to better resource planning departments, the NFB had hoped to see more comprehensive revisions to planning guidance. This will hopefully feature in the Letwin Review because the planning process remains the major barrier to growth in the industry.
Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB, said:
“The Government can do more to tackle the housing crisis, but it needs the entire housing supply chain to support its drive as well as challenge its ambition. We would like to see the Government more ambitious on planning reform and the green belt, but we welcome the direction the NPPF review has taken. Local government has a big part to play in enabling the right homes in the right places.”