Draft National Planning Policy Framework

October 2011

This papersummarises the draft national planning policy framework issued by government in2011.

Ministers would like to reduceEngland’s planning law from a 1,000 page rule book to just 52 in an effort topromote ‘sustainable development’ including the construction of new housing andthe development of businesses. National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beautywould continue to be protected but there are fears that the policy could leadto uncontrolled development in other green belt and rural areas.

The Coalition government has in itsnew National Planning Policy Framework stated that for the planning system towork properly and fairly, it is important for there to be national policies withcommunity interest at heart.

In the Coalition Agreement, theGovernment committed to turning the many existing planning documents into aclearer, simpler, more coherent framework, easier to understand and easier toput in practice.

Strict rules compelling housebuilders to include affordable homes in private developments will be scrappedunder the government's controversial changes to the planning system. This hasraised questions about the proposals that ministers claim are vital fortackling the housing crisis. They have also been criticised by conservationgroups that fear they will lead to an increase in building on Greenfield sites.

The draft National Planning PolicyFramework proposed removing the threshold under what are known as section 106 agreements,requiring that private developments of 15 properties or more contain an elementof affordable housing. It also proposed abandoning stipulations that councilsset a target for the number of affordable properties they intend to be built intheir area and, on larger sites, to establish the proportion of private andaffordable housing needed.

For full briefing paper please click here.

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