NPPF “appears contradictory and confusing”

Over the weekend the Environmental Audit Committe (EAC) released its report on the National Planning Policy Framework, stating that in its current form it is both “contradictory and confusing”. The committe received evidence from a wide range of organisations, including the National Trust, before publishing its position.

Following months of debate over the planning reforms, the Government’s consultation period has now closed. Over 10,000 responses were received, and Ministers are expected to make a number of changes to the document before it comes into force next year.

The EAC believes that this is essential, and raised a number of concerns within its report. Joan Walley MP, chair of the committee stated that:

“There are environmental limits to how much development any one area can sustain and the Government should acknowledge this in the final draft of the NPPF. If the new planning framework protects our greenbelt and countryside, as the Government claims, then there should be no problem in defining sustainable development more clearly to avoid misinterpretation.”

She added that:

“It pays lip service to sustainable development without providing a clear definition, potentially leaving future planning decisions open to legal challenges.”

The committee also raised concerns regarding the dropping of the brownfield first policy; the weaking protections to the green belt; the weakening of the town centre first policy that was supposed to create viable town centres; and the danger of urban sprawl.

The committe’s letter to the Prime Minister can be found here, and the full report can be accessed here.

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8 thoughts on “NPPF “appears contradictory and confusing”

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