The National Planning Policy Framework came into effect at 12.30pm today with no transitional arrangements for councils without a local plan.
The government today published its final version of the NPPF, a document which trims more than 1,000 pages of planning policy down to 50 pages.
The final version includes the following 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.
The British Property Federation welcomed the changes adding that the debate must now switch to how it will work in practice given around half of local authorities still have not produced a local plan.
BPF chief executive Liz Peace said: “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.
“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.”
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