Published: 26th April 2012

On 27th March 2012 the Government published the final version of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and, in doing so, cancelled virtually all pre-existing national planning policy.

Quod has been closely involved in the evolution of the NPPF and John Rhodes was one of four advisors to the Government on the draft. We anticipate, therefore that we should have a clear understanding of the principal effects of the NPPF and the changes to the planning system which it is seeking to achieve.

The National Planning Policy Framework is distinctly pro-growth, with its presumption in favour of sustainable development used to ensure that local plans set out to meet full development requirements for all land uses and that planning decisions are approached with the mindset of seeking to approve applications and resolve problems, rather than resist development.

Nevertheless, there are some important environmental protections within the NPPF and responsibility also falls on the private sector to ensure the adequate quality of its development. The NPPF is consistent with our approach to seek to build consensus between the private sector, communities and local Government so that all can understand and benefit from the opportunities presented by good quality development.

The National Planning Policy Framework is a remarkably short statement of Government policy but every element of it has a particular meaning and importance. Because it is arranged thematically, it is not always easy to navigate. To assist in finding all relevant policy references, Quod has recently launched an interactive index to the NPPF which is freely available for use at nppf.quod.com.