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National planning policy updated

Changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) for England were recently confirmed by the UK government and include:

o Making beauty and placemaking a strategic policy in the Framework

o An expectation that local authorities produce their own design codes and guides setting out design principles which new development in their areas should reflect

o An expectation that new streets are tree-lined

o Improving biodiversity and access to nature through design

o An emphasis on granting planning permission for well-designed development and refusing it for poor quality schemes

The new policy document can be found here.

On the new policy, the government has said:

These changes were proposed to implement policy changes in response to the Building Better Building Beautiful Commission’s ‘Living with beauty’ report, which can be seen here.

We also took this opportunity to make a number of environment-related changes, including amendments on flood risk in response to initial findings from our review of flood risk with Defra, and climate change. The amendments also included a small number of very minor changes arising from legal cases, primarily to clarify the policy. A few minor factual changes were also made to remove out-of-date text.

The Framework that comes into force today is a reflection of our commitment to making beauty and place making a strategic theme in national planning policy. Our changes make clear that development that is not well designed should be refused and that ‘good design and beautiful places’ should be at the centre of plan making and decision making.

These changes do not represent a wholesale revision of the National Planning Policy Framework, nor do they reflect proposals for wider planning reform as set out in the Planning for the Future consultation document. A fuller review of the Framework is likely to be required in due course to reflect those wider reforms, subject to decisions on how they are to be taken forward.

If you'd like advice on how this impacts your planning consent issues, then contact us via or call Simon on 07801 356 840.

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