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 Planning: strategic issues

October 2011 

Draft National Planning Policy Framework

The Government published the consultation draft of its new National Planning Policy in July 2011 and the period for consultation ended in October.

The draft sweeps aside almost all the current national policies, reducing 1000 pages to 52. It has been attacked by a number of conservation organisations as a license for developers to despoil the countryside.

The golden thread is a presumption in favour of sustainable development. The Government’s top priority in reforming the planning system is “to promote sustainable economic growth and jobs“, and to ensure “that the sustainable development needed to support economic growth is able to proceed as easily as possible”.

The intention is that the existing plan-led approach will continue but the emphasis will be on development plans being kept up to date in identifying and accommodating development needs.

The draft makes it clear that “planning must encourage growth and not act as an impediment”.

Despite the emphasis on “sustainable development “ the draft offers little by way of a definition. The Ministerial foreword says “sustainable means ensuring that better lives for ourselves don’t mean worse lives for future generations” and “development means growth”.


The consultation draft can be read here»

and the Horsham Society’s response is here»