NPPF reforms: Government has misjudged the real obstacles to development

Karen Cooksley BW 2017

Draft revisions to the National Planning Policy Framework has raised more questions than answers, presenting a contradictory stance of trying to crack down on developers while also promising to “deliver more housing more quickly”

The government’s publication of the draft revisions to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) has raised more questions than answers, presenting a contradictory stance of trying to crack down on developers while also promising to “deliver more housing more quickly”. Although trailed as an overhaul to the planning system, the Prime Minister’s announcements offered only a dearth of detail disguised by snappy and PR-friendly soundbites which have left many in the industry bemoaning a fundamental misunderstanding of the relevant issues by Westminster.

A subject which is clearly top of the government’s housing agenda is the perceived problem of ‘land banking’ by developers. The reforms suggest provisions to allow councils to look at housebuilders’ previous build-out rates when considering planning applications, and that a two-year window for developers to start work after receiving consent should be a condition of any permissions where it would not slow down delivery.

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