Changes to National Planning Policy Framework 'sensible', says BPF

Liz Peace
Chief Executive at British Property Federation
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Post date: Tuesday, 27th March 2012

The British Property Federation, the leading body representing landlords and commercial property developers, has welcomed changes made to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), published today by the planning minister Greg Clark.


We believe the NPPF is now a more moderate and sensible document. The changes to the framework do not, however, alter its overall objective of supporting well-planned sustainable growth within a streamlined, plan-led system. 

We believe the NPPF is now a more moderate and sensible document. The changes to the framework do not, however, alter its overall objective of supporting well-planned sustainable growth within a streamlined, plan-led system. 

Government has made some sensible concessions while still ensuring that local authorities must provide homes and jobs where they are needed.

What's needed now is clarity over how the NPPF is going to be implemented. Urgent questions remain over how local authorities should determine how many homes and jobs they need, and what the guidance that underpins the NPPF should be.

And those local authorities that have failed in the last eight years to draw up an up to date Local Plan must now get on and create one. Hopefully the transitional arrangements announced today will be the spur they need.

Today's key developments: 

  • Transitional arrangements - Local authorities with a post-2004 local plan that is broadly in line with the NPPF will be able to use those policies for 12 months. For local authorities with no up to date plan, the NPPF will come in to force today
  • The definition of sustainable development - this has been strengthened to include the Bruntland definition
  • Brownfield first policy - this has been strengthened to prioritise more clearly the use of previously developed land
  • Five-year land supply - Local Authorities with a good track record at allocating land for housing must earmark a five-year supply plus 5%. Others must earmark a five-year supply plus 20%
  • The intrinsic value of countryside - this has been included in the NPPF following its removal from the first draft
  • Town centre first policy - this has been strengthened and office development re-included, with an exemption for rural businesses.

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