Review of 6,000 pages of guidance follows NPPF launch

The government is to review thousands of pages of planning guidance issued in the years prior to the publication of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) last month.

Decentralisation minister Greg Clark confirmed yesterday that 6,000 pages of planning guidance, which sat under previous planning policy statements will now be reviewed and condensed.

Clark, speaking at a seminar on the NPPF in London yesterday, said: “We’re now conducting a review of the underpinning guidance, which will concentrate on focusing it, finding out what is necessary to be there. We hope this will result in a body that is less voluminous that then 6,000 pages currently there at the moment.”

Clark comments refer to a raft of planning circulars and good practice guides issued in recent years to supplement previous planning policy, and which, theoretically, are still currently in effect. This is distinct from previous policy statements, called PPSs, which were almost entirely cancelled with last month’s publication of the NPPF.

Much of the extant advice covers issues such as how practically to carry out measures called for in planning policy, such as how councils should go about assess housing need.

Roger Hepher, planning director at Savills, said: “Some of this residual advice won’t sit comfortably with the NPPF, and in general ministers are saying they don’t want to produce guidance. They’re aware of the issue, but as yet there’s no clear work programme.”