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National Planning Policy Reform

National Planning Policy Framework and Levelling Up

As part of the Government’s Levelling Up agenda, a consultation has been launched on proposed immediate changes to the NPPF, primarily relating to housing supply and delivery, as well as proposals on further planning policy reform. This update sets out a summary of the key elements of the consultation and considers the potential implications.

What is the Consultation About?

Our reading is that the consultation comprises thereof the following information /

1. Layer One – ‘Immediate’ NPPF Changes
Seemingly in response to pressure from Conservative back-benchers, the consultation
includes a track-changed version of the NPPF proposing changes primarily to the
calculation of housing need and delivery of said housing, alongside light-touch
changes around design and energy. The Government’s aim is that these changes
would be formally published in spring this year.

2. Layer Two – The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill
Bedded into the consultation document are proposals which are already well
advanced through their inclusion in the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill (‘the LURB’).
Several echo the ideas set out in the Government’s Planning for the Future White
Paper in 2020. The Government states that it expects the LURB to receive Royal Assent
in spring this year (subject to Parliamentary approval).

3. Layer Three – Aspiration for Future Planning Policy Reform
Mixed in with the above two layers, there is also a raft of other planning policy reform
aspirations, which include a wider review of the NPPF (which would pick up topics not
currently addressed in the ‘immediate changes’) as well as principles for how the new
National Development Management Policies (‘NDMPs’) could be framed and applied.

We set out in our latest briefing note a more detailed summary of each Layer identified above.

For more information on any of these topics, our expertise and knowledge in the sector, or to discuss a particular project, please do contact one of our team.


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