Property News Colliers International comments on today’s National Planning Policy Framework announcements

National Planning Policy

BACK TO THE EIGHTIES? Colliers International comments on today’s National Planning Policy Framework announcements.

Adam Pyrke, Director of Planning at Colliers International commented: “The Government has today signalled its clear intention to promote development as a means of generating wealth to battle the national budget deficit.

“In advance of publishing their National Planning Policy Framework for consultation next month, the Government has revealed the cornerstone of their proposed policy, a presumption in favour of development. This approach mirrors that followed by the last Conservative administration through the 1980’s and into the early 1990’s.

“In recognition of climate change issues arising since that time, particularly over the last 10 years, the new presumption is a more restricted in its application and only applies to ‘sustainable’ development. There is obviously quite a lot of flexibility into what this means and how it is applied in practice.”

In short the presumption should mean:

  • Local plans should be positively phrased to meet development needs;
  • Proposals in accordance with those plans should be approved without delay;
  • Permission should be granted when the plan is silent, indeterminate or out of date.

Adam added: “In practice, I anticipate it will shift the balance in favour of permission being granted but this will not always be sufficient to persuade council’s to grant permission when the development industry thinks they should. There is too much room to argue whether a proposal is ‘sustainable’ or whether a plan is out of date.

Strong support through the favourable determination planning appeals will assist getting the message through to planning authorities but will require some further months to take effect.”