The revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) was published on 24th July, just 4 months after the release of the consultation draft and takes immediate effect.
The revised NPPF is largely consistent with the March draft. Lanpro have reviewed the published NPPF and note some key changes as follows:
- The new document reinstates the Garden City principles that were controversially removed from the draft version with additional onus placed on the need to make a realistic assessment over rates of housing delivery.
- The final document ‘waters down’ the controversial small sites requirement seen in the draft version with council’s now needing to accommodate 10% cent of their housing requirement on small sites (of no larger than 1ha), as opposed to 20% (on sites of no larger than 0.5ha) proposed within the draft version. Provision is also made within amended paragraph 68 for LPA’s to ‘shy away’ from this requirement if they can show “that there are strong reasons why this 10% target cannot be achieved”.
- The revised NPPF includes “social rent” in its affordable housing definition having excluded it in March’s draft.
- New paragraph 109 tightens the test for highway impacts by requiring development to be refused on highway grounds if “there would be an unacceptable impact on highway safety” which is in addition to the current test i.e where the residual cumulative impacts would be ‘severe’.
- Greater onus is provided on the delivery of high quality design with specific reference given within new paragraph 130 to the need for LPA’s to set out measures to prevent ‘value engineering’ following the grant of planning permission.
Lanpro are interested to note that a number of the key principles of the revised NPPF set out within the March draft remain, namely:
- The standardised method for calculating housing need is retained.
- The new housing delivery test for local authorities to be brought in in November this year, remains. This will measure the number of homes created against local housing need and penalise councils that underdeliver against various thresholds over a three-year period.
- The replacement to paragraph 14 (now 11 (d)) has been retained. This reaffirms that the tilted balance in favour of sustainable forms of development is automatically triggered if there is a lack of 5YHLS and in due course, where the new Housing Delivery Test fails to be met.
- The definition of what constitutes “deliverable” development has been retained which will assist developers when seeking to challenge 5 year housing land supplies.
- The revised NPPF requires Local Planning Authorities to submit their local plans for examination prior to 24 January 2019 if to avoid the standardised approach for assessing housing need. This will no doubt result in a number of plans being ‘rushed’ through to submission.
If you would like to discuss the new NPPF with Lanpro, or to find out what the document may mean for you, please contact Hannah Smith, Associate Planner (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Ian Douglass, Head of Planning (email@example.com).