The Draft NPPF

Government issues new draft national planning rules

The Government has issued a revised version of the National Planning Policy Framework for consultation, rewriting the rules that local authorities must take into account when making local plans and deciding planning applications.
Whilst the Government has sought to portray the changes as substantial – and indeed the NPPF has been completely restructured and the wording of many sections tweaked – most of the new proposals have been announced previously in the Planning White Paper and in other announcements. Key changes announced include:
  • Changes to viability testing, to make it harder for developers to reduce affordable housing provision following a grant of permission, and also making viability assessments publicly available;
  • Consideration to introducing a standardised and potentially non-negotiable system for development contributions;
  • Proposals set out in the Housing White Paper to introduce Housing Delivery Targets for local authorities;
  • Confirmation that the standardised methodology for calculating local housing need (which will increase housing targets in many areas) is to be brought into effect;
  • Increased emphasis on high density schemes on brownfield and accessible sites;
  • Stronger protection for Green Belt land – increasing the hurdles for local authorities seeking to allocated Green Belt land (as previously announced in the White Paper) although the protection for some development on brownfield sites in the Green Belt is being reduced;
  • Removal of the requirement for larger out-of-centre office schemes to provide an Impact Assessment; and
  • Stronger requirements for Local Plans to meet identified needs, including unmet needs for neighbouring authorities.
The Government is encouraging consultation responses on the draft proposals by 10th May, and has announced an intention to bring the new rules into place before this summer.
DHA will be hosting a breakfast seminar within the next few weeks to discuss the changes to the NPPF. If you would like to register your interest in attending this, please email your details to so that we can send you an invitation in due course.
In the meantime, for more information on how the changes might affect your proposals, please contact Jonathan Buckwell or any of the DHA Planning team on 01622 776226.

For more information call 01622 776226 or email:

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