MPs set to debate National Planning Policy Framework tomorrow

Shadow housing minister Jack Dromey has urged the government to put its draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) to a vote in both houses of Parliament.

The government is aiming to codify the swarms of planning guidance and policy into a single document but has triggered outrage from environmental organisations who fear the policy will see greater development on green belt land.

In a debate in the House of Commons on the preservation of green belt land yesterday Dromey presented communities minister Andrew Stunell with a list of demands.

Dromey, who was only appointed to the post of shadow housing minister last week, listed his demands: “Firstly, we need a recognised definition of sustainable development… Secondly, and crucially, we need a restoration of the successful brownfield-first policy, which was initiated under a Conservative Government and developed under a Labour one… Thirdly, we need protection for our town centres… Fourthly, there should be a commitment to affordable housing, not the trading-off of such housing for reasons of viability and, fifthly, we need transitional arrangements that protect local communities against what will sometimes be predatory proposals by developers.

The NPPF does not require approval by Parliament as it replaces policy and guidance issued by previous governments.

Stunell did not address most of Dromey’s demands directly, except to say: “Legitimate concerns have not been raised about an interim situation.

He said: “We want plans to be developed in accordance with the wishes of local communities and to create the homes, jobs, transport links and recreational facilities that we need to produce environmentally, socially and economically sustainable communities. It is the Government’s clear intention to do so.”

MPs are expected to debate the whole NPPF on Thursday.