The Communities and Local Government Committee has published its report into the Government’s recent consultation on the English National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
Its chief recommendation is that there should be a comprehensive review of the NPPF before the end of the Parliament.
We welcome the excellent work and recommendations of the select committee and add our voice to the call for the government to undertake a wide-ranging, evidence based review of the NPPF. Such a review should include the involvement of the planning sector and all major stakeholders. It must also be open and transparent, so that the outcome can be used to ensure that we are all able to monitor and influence sustainable development in our communities.
The RTPI has already responded to an earlier recommendation of the Committee in commissioning a study of the location of housing permissions in 12 city regions in England as a contribution to this vital task.
The Committee, which is chaired by Clive Betts MP (pictured above), also recommends that where a new settlements are planned, the strict application of the 5 year land supply rule should be lifted, an RTPI policy position since 2013, in order to allow for the longer lead time for large developments.
Reacting to oral evidence given by the RTPI’s Head of Policy, the Committee recommends that a tighter definition of brownfield land is going to be needed in future. The Committee also asks for a tighter definition of commuter hubs than the government currently proposes, which was a key concern of the RTPI’s written evidence to the inquiry.
Other recommendations from the MPs that we believe will have broad support include increasing the 5-year moratorium on being able to sell a “starter home” without restriction, and providing greater powers for local authorities to prevent the loss of land needed for other purposes to housing.
President of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Phil Williams said:
“We welcome the excellent work and recommendations of the select committee and add our voice to the call for the government to undertake a wide-ranging, evidence based review of the NPPF. Such a review should include the involvement of the planning sector and all major stakeholders. It must also be open and transparent, so that the outcome can be used to ensure that we are all able to monitor and influence sustainable development in our communities.”
Clive Betts MP said: "We welcome many of the proposals in the Government’s consultation. However, particularly at a time of significant change for the planning and housing sectors, it’s important that people are reassured that the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) works effectively and that it supports sustainable development in their communities. The Government needs to ensure there is confidence in the planning system by carrying out a comprehensive review of the NPPF by the end of this Parliament".
Read the Select Committee report.
Read the written evidence from the RTPI (Pdf)
Read the transcript of the oral evidence given by RTPI Head of Policy Richard Blyth.
Watch Richard give his evidence to the Select committee.