The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) sets out government planning policy for England. It was published by the Department for Communities and Local Government in March 2012 replacing a wide range of previous planning policy statements and planning policy guidance.
In 2014, the House of Commons Communities and Local Government Committee commissioned research from the Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research into The nature of planning constraints, published in March 2014, which found, amongst other things, that planning targets may be producing perverse behaviour.
The Committee then decided to establish how effectively the NPPF was operating, and whether any changes needed to be made. An inquiry was launched on 4 April 2014, focussing specifically on:
- Planning for housing.
- Town centres.
- Planning for energy infrastructure.
- The nature of planning constraints.
On 15 December 2014, the Committee published Operation of the National Planning Policy Framework Fourth Report of Session 2014–15. The report suggests that the simplification brought to the planning system by the NPPF is welcome, but that it is still early days, and the NPPF needs more time to ‘bed in’, proposing that it should be strengthened so that everyone can have greater confidence in it.
A number of weaknesses were identified, including:
- A failure to prevent unsustainable development in some places.
- Inappropriate housing being imposed upon some communities as a result of speculative planning applications.
- Town centres being given insufficient protection against out of town development.
A wide range of proposals were put forward to strengthen the NPPF, including:
- Ensuring the same weight is given to environmental and social issues as to economic issues and that permission is only given if developments are accompanied by the infrastructure necessary to support them.
- A statutory requirement for councils to get local plans adopted within three years of legislation being enacted.
- Measures to address the complex issue of land supply, such as; closing loopholes relating to the viability of housing land, giving clearer guidance about how housing need should be assessed, and encouraging local authorities to review their green belts as part of the local planning process.
- An end to permitted development allowing shops and buildings used for financial and professional services to become homes.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
CEOs and high-level executives explain who they expect to be the most successful players in the future of construction.
What are package contracts and how are they broken down? Find out in our introductory article.
Identifying sustainable shoreline protection solutions in the face of rising sea levels and storms in the US.
Budget documents state modern methods of construction will be favoured for public infrastructure schemes from 2019.
A walk-through exhibition of an emergency humanitarian shelter is officially opened at BRE's Innovation Park.
How to work safely on a construction site during winter.
Housing is the big winner in Chancellor Philip Hammond's Autumn Budget.
The winner of our BSRIA competition, Tomorrow's challenges in today's buildings, is.... Bob Hendrikx. A big thank you to everyone that took part.
Committee of MPs accuses government of dealing billpayers a 'bad hand' over the guaranteed power price.
In 1992, the Joint Fire Code was first published. What influence does it still have on construction sites today?
"Companies will have to adapt or go out of business" - how are virtual reality and big data disrupting digital construction?
International Well Building Institute and BRE collaborate on multiple levels to advance human health through better buildings.
"The industry has tried moving away from prescriptivism to focus on performance, but maybe that’s no longer working".