National Planning Policy Framework – The Basics Of Sustainable Developments

By Landmarket Team on the

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) documents the Government’s planning policies for England and sets out how these guidelines are expected to be applied. In this blog post, we take a look at the basic principles of sustainability laid out by the NPPF and what this means for developers.

When the NPPF was published on 27 March 2012 it replaced over two dozen previous planning documents, namely the Planning Policy Statements (PPS) and Planning Policy Guidance Notes (PPG). In replacing these papers the government sought to simplify the process of applying for planning permission, with a strong focus on granting planning for sustainable developments and making the planning procedure more inclusive for individuals and communities.

Achieving and favouring sustainable development is the crux of the National Planning Policy Framework, with the framework indicating that sustainable development projects should be able to go ahead with delay.

“At the heart of the National Planning Policy Framework is a presumption in favour of sustainable development, which should be seen as a golden thread running through both plan-making and decision-making.”

To ensure this approach is upheld and delays are kept to a minimum the NPPF clear lays out guidelines on decision and plan-making for local authorities. Local planning authorities have a duty to act on the specific development needs of their area and positively pursue opportunities to meet these needs. Proposals that are in accordance with the development plan should be approved without delay, this can on occasion mean that certain policies can be overlooked in favour of giving the go-ahead on a sustainable development that meets the NPPF standards.

Building Plans

The National Planning Policy Framework lays out three dimensions for achieving sustainable: economic, social and environmental, and dictates that the planning system should play a number of roles according to these dimension.

Economic – Developments must contribute and strengthen the local economy, with sufficient land being available at the opportune moments to best support growth and innovation .

Social – Developments should play a part in supporting and enhancing local communities, high quality built environments with good access to local services are vital for an area’s social and cultural well-being. There should be enough housing to meet the requirements of the current local population and foresight to consider the needs of future generations.

Environmental – Our natural, built and historic environments should be protected and enhanced through development. Steps should be taken to minimise waste and pollution which occurs through development and natural resources should be used prudently. The goal is to adapt to climate change and continue moving toward a low-carbon economy.

What does this mean for developers?

The National Planning Policy Framework gives clear guidelines to follow. Developers should consider the implications of the framework early in the planning stage, consulting and engaging with the community where appropriate. It is important to consider the presumption in favour of sustainable developments and ensure that your proposals clearly explain how you development will take sustainability on board, with reference to the three dimensions the NPPF measure this by – economic, social and environmental factors.

 At Landmarket, it’s our job to know the NPPF inside-out so you don’t have to! Get in touch today for our expert guidance.