The final version of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) was publised on 27 March 2012 by the Department for Communites and Local Government.
The aim of the NPPF was to significantly reduce the amount of planning legislation to a signle 57 page document with the intention of making the planning system pro-growth and simpler and easier to navigate.
Prior to the document being published national planning guidance was contained within Planning Policy Guidance (PPG) and Planning Policy Statements (PPS) which combined contained over 1000 pages of legislation. The PPGs and PPSs are now obsolete and carry no weight in planning decisions.
Key Aspects of NPPF
One of the main purposes of the NPPF is to facilitate economic growth and the framework appears to be supportive of economic development in rural areas, providing it can be demonstrated that it is sustainable.
Local planning authorities still have to able to demonstrate that thay have a five year supply of deliverable housing sites as well as having sites or broad locations for housing for the next 15 years.
The NPPF encourages local planning authorities to allow some market housing on rural exception sites (these are site located in rural areas for 100% affordable housing) in order to help facilitate the delivery of affordable housing.
Agricultural workers dwellings are still seen as an acceptable exception to open countryside and Green Belt policy, providing it can be demonstrated that there is an exceptional need.
Development restrictions in the Green Belt remain much the same as before the introduction of the NPPF. Essentially, only development for the purpose of agriculture, forestry, outdoor recreation, the extension or alteration of a building and replacement of an existing building are considered acceptable in Green Belt locations.
If you require any assistance or guidance with the contents of the National Planning Policy Framework or have a project requiring planning advice please do not hesitate to contact Matthew Binns on 01756 795621.