Chancellor sets date to publish planning reforms

So there you have it. Chancellor George Osborne has confirmed that the Government’s new planning policy (NPPF) will come “into effect when the National Planning Policy Framework is published next Tuesday” 27 March.

As widely anticipated, he’s wrapped up these apparently sweeping reforms – described by Mr Osborne as “the biggest reduction in business red tape ever undertaken”, in his 2012 budget statement.

What’s in the final NPPF?

We’re not much the wiser on the content, apart from the fact that the “presumption in favour of sustainable development” is here to stay. And because the Chancellor has stated that the NPPF will come into effect on Tuesday 27 March, rumours have started to fly around the fate of transition arrangements.

However, there may be tentatively good news on this area in the full budget document (PDF) provided that’s what’s meant by the presence of “appropriate implementation arrangements for local authorities in local plans”. We’ve argued in favour of transition arrangements for NPPF to get local plans in place and to ensure those in place are valid.

What does the ‘presumption in favour’ mean’?

Without seeing the final document, we can’t be sure of the full implications. We responded to the draft by highlighting the need for a clear definition of what is meant by sustainable development, and by the phrase ‘significantly and demonstrably’ (referring to the level of harm that will need to be shown in order for a development proposal to be deemed unsustainable). The Communities and Local Government Select Committee voiced similar reservations in their report last year. We’ll have to wait until next Tuesday to find out if any of those concerns have been addressed.

In the meantime, please feel free to comment below and join the conversation with us about planning on Twitter (@nationaltrust) using the #planning4ppl hashtag.

Blog by Kate Joynes-Burgess, Social Media & Communities Manager, National Trust

5 thoughts on “Chancellor sets date to publish planning reforms

  1. This makes me feeling very nervous, local plans by councils have not been formulated and therefore a government inspector can decide in favour of the applicant if they have not been approved. Likewise the local plans formed by parish councils are very expensive to produce and they have to be approved by a government inspector, so if they do not conform to their ideal again they can be rejected. this is one huge mess with no real substance, we should all be very afraid.

  2. We are right in the middle of a planning inquiry trying to protect wildlife meadows at the entrance to Torquay. Where does this leave the community who have supported our campaign for the past 13 years?

  3. Pingback: Ecology and Policy Blog » Blog Archive » Environmental organisations react to the Chancellor’s 2012 Budget

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