The revised new planning policy framework was published today. Greg Clark, Planning Minister said that the system in England needs reform as it is too complicated, costly and has “ground ever slower”. Those councils with no local plan will implement the new framework immediately. Those local councils with local plans have a year to implement the new rules.
The draft plans released last year caused angry reactions from green campaigners, as the framework was cut from 1300 pages to just 50. The main focus of planning will be on a presumption of ‘sustainable development’ which campaigners argued would lead to inappropriate growth in rural areas.
As a result Clark emphasised that the new framework has to take into account environmental factors as well as social and economic aims. It was highlighted that brownfield sites should be developed before Greenfield sites are considered for planning. Back gardens and playing fields should be protected from development. Town centre development is also preferred over out-of-town areas.
Clark hopes that the new planning rules will lead to the building of more homes, and will help the housing stock crisis. Simon Nunn from the National Housing Federation told the BBC that "There’s a housing crisis in the country, we’re only building half the homes that we need. Planning is part of the jigsaw and I think that a positive planning framework combined with the right investment framework will help us."
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