Government has listened to public concerns on planning

Well, the day has finally come. The Government has published its National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and we welcome improvements which have been made to the draft.

Here’s our Director-General Dame Fiona Reynolds’ take on it in her own words:

“There are a number of important changes that have been made to the draft, responding to concerns that we and others raised.

These include:

  • the primacy of the plan is confirmed, ensuring that development must be consistent with the plan
  • a better definition of sustainable development, based on the 2005 sustainable development strategy
  • the insertion of references to the use of brownfield land and the need to promote town centres
  • removal of the incendiary default ‘yes’ to development where there is no plan
  • reference to the ‘intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside’, recognising the importance of countryside outside designated areas
  • confirmation that existing plans will remain in force while the new NPPF is introduced, and that there will be a one-year transition for the preparation of new plans

“All these changes improve the document and give it a better tone and balance.

“Now the serious business of planning begins. The country needs huge effort at a local level to get plans in place that properly reflect the integration of social, economic and environmental goals, and protect places people value.

“The National Trust, along with many other organisations and people, will play our part and watch to see how it works in practice.

Over 230,000 people signed our petition against the draft NPPF – a sign of the huge public concern it generated. Now we owe it to them and future generations to get good plans in place to deliver the improved ambitions set out in the new document.”

Download the final National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF – PDF; 1.29 MB) to read in more detail for yourself.

Anything to add? Please feel free to comment and share your concerns below and you can join the conversation with us about planning on Twitter (@nationaltrust) using the #planning4ppl hashtag.

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



5 thoughts on “Government has listened to public concerns on planning

  1. Well done to everyone at the National Trust and to the public pressure that helped make the NPPF much more green-friendly. It is not perfect but a huge improvement over the free-for-all it previously was.

  2. It’s important to encourage planners to understand that the five principles of sustainable development set out in Securing the Future are a recipe, not a menu – you need them all. Proposals that only meet two or three of the principles should be rejected.

  3. It’s important that planners understand that the five principles set out in the UK sustainable development strategy are a recipe, not a menu – you need them all. Proposals that fail to meet all five criteria should be rejected.

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