Government hopes to publish draft NPPF revisions by the end of March

The government hopes to consult on the new revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) by the end of March, a senior civil servant at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has said.

17 January 2018 by Michael Donnelly 

Jan 2018 Parliament: MHCLG chief appeared before committee on Monday

The department consulted on changes to the NPPF in December 2015, but the timescale for revising the document has slipped.

In July 2016, the former planning minister Gavin Barwell said that he expected to publish revisions to the framework in the autumn, after the government had previously indicated that the changes would be made in the summer.

Speaking on Monday at a 
session of the House of Commons Communities and Local Government Committee, Melanie Dawes, permanent secretary Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), said that she wanted a consultation version of the revised document to be published before Easter. Good Friday falls on 30 March this year.

Asked by committee chair Clive Betts how the government intended to bring together all of its planning policy changes "in a coherent sensible way", Dawes said that the department would "brigade as much of [the proposed changes] as possible in the new National Planning Policy Framework".

Dawes said that she expected the document to be "ready for consultation in the next few months - I hope just before Easter or thereabouts".

The civil servant said that the consultation would "include measures on which we have already consulted on as individual measures ... and also some measures announced in the Budget which are yet to be consulted on".

"Following that final consultation we will publish and implement the new framework in one piece", she said.

Measures announced in the Budget yet to be consulted on include a proposal to take allocated sites out of local plans where "there is no prospect" of a planning application being made for their intended use; and new policy whereby local authorities would be expected to grant housing permissions for land outside development plans on condition that a "high proportion" of the homes built are offered for discounted sale for first time buyers or for affordable rent.