News & Insights

Legal Update: The National Planning Policy Framework

On 19 February 2019 the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government produced an update of the National Planning Policy Framework (“NPPF”).

The NPPF was first published in 2012, but it underwent a complete overhaul in July 2018.

In October 2018 a number of revisions were announced, but up until now they have not been implemented.

The 2019 update makes some minor amendments.

These include:

  • Footnotes 35, 36 and 37 addressing the delivery of large-scale developments. The revision of footnote 37 of the 2018 NPPF, to add at the end: “Where local housing need is used as the basis for assessing whether a five year supply of specific deliverable sites exists, it should be calculated using the standard method set out in national planning guidance.” Confirming this approach, the consultation response said: “Taking into account the responses, it is felt that these clarifications will ultimately benefit all stakeholders and increase certainty in how five-year land supply is calculated.”
  • Wording in paragraph 177 which deals with the presumption in favour of sustainable developments in appropriate assessments (to deal with people verses wind).
  • The definition of “deliverable” sites has been revised to make “clearer that non-major sites with outline consent should be considered deliverable unless there is evidence to the contrary.”
  • A revised definition of local housing need in the framework’s glossary to allow “authorities to use a justified alternative approach to the standard method for calculating house need, in exceptional circumstances.” The document said that using an alternative approach to the standard method “is intended to apply only when strategic policies are being produced” in plan-making, “rather than inviting alternative approaches and calculations of need in the determination of applications and appeals where housing land supply is a relevant matter”.
  • The Planning Practice Guidance of ‘Housing and economic needs assessment’, which guides councils in how to assess their housing needs has also been revised in line with the NPPF.

To access the full document, please click here.

For more information on how the new framework may affect you please contact Foskett Marr Gadsby & Head LLP’s Property Teams, based in Epping and Loughton, on 01992 578 642.