National Planning Policy Framework Update

On the 5th of March 2018, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, updated the House of Commons on the draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). In this statement, he informed the House about the Government’s planning reforms.

I have picked out the main points that could potentially affect developers and land owners. It is important to understand how these changes may impact future developments and land values.

The key points:

  • A proposed move away from viability assessments in the decision-making stage of development
  • A fast track planning scheme. If an affordable housing target of 35% is achieved (or 50% for residential developments built on public land), there will be no need for a viability process.
  • A suggestion to set national, non-negotiable developer contributions. This requires further consultation, so is unlikely to come into force at the same time as the NPPF.
  • Strong protections of Green Belt land remain, and a high bar remains before Green Belt land may be released. Should it be released, first consideration will be given to previously-developed land or is well-served by public transport.

Further reforms under consideration:

Councils will take a developer’s previous rate of build-out into consideration when planning permission is requested A new permitted development right for upwards extensions More effective approaches to bring agricultural land forward for housing.

Luke Abbott, Director

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