This report recommends that a default answer of 'yes' to development should be removed from the National Planning Policy Framework (NPFF). The phrase 'significantly and demonstrably' must also be removed from the presumption that all planning applications should be approved unless the adverse effects 'significantly and demonstrably' outweigh the benefits, because it adds a further barrier to the achievement of truly sustainable development. The definition of 'sustainable development' is inadequate and often conflated with 'sustainable economic growth'. The framework gives the impression that greater emphasis should be given in planning decisions to economic growth, undermining the equally important environmental and social elements of the planning system. The NPPF should require local planning decisions to be taken in accordance with the presumption in favour of sustainable development consistent with Local Plans. It is unacceptable that so many parts of England have yet to develop and adopt a new Local Plan. Clarity within the NPPF has suffered in the pursuit of brevity. Inconsistent drafting could create gaps in planning policy or guidance that could lead to a huge expansion in the size of Local Plans - as local authorities attempt to plug those gaps. The test for 'viability', as currently worded, risks allowing unsustainable developments to go ahead if measures to make them sustainable are deemed to make them unviable for the developer. MPs also call for a sensible transition period to give local authorities time to put Local Plans in place where they have not already done so.Explain to us: it is not the lack of planning permission that is stopping you building houses at present, is it? John Slaughter: We do feel that planning is a fundamental issue; it is a long-term issue. ... if you look back over the last 20 years, that the planning system has not delivered sufficient land for housing and development.
|Title||:||The National Planning Policy Framework|
|Author||:||Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Communities and Local Government Committee|
|Publisher||:||The Stationery Office - 2011-12-21|