England Revises Its National Planning Policy Framework

BBC News reports on recent moves to reform and simplify England's nationwide planning policy framework, which is used to guide planning at the local level.

After draft proposals raised concerns "that they amounted to a 'developers' charter'", and were opposed by groups including the National Trust, Campaign to Protect Rural England and Friends of the Earth, the guidelines have been revised to encourage brownfield redevelopment and strengthen the theme of sustainability.

According to the report, "The government says planning reform is 'sorely needed' as regulations have become too complex and are holding back economic growth. The new framework condenses 1,300 pages to fewer than 100."

"The revised national planning policy framework will guide councils in both drawing up their 'local plans', which set out their development policies. Planning inspectors must take it into account when judging applications. Councils without an existing local plan will start to use it immediately. Those which have a plan already will have a year to bring it into line with the framework."

Former critics are happy with the improvements to the document, but are reserving final judgement to see how the new language will be applied in practice.

Full Story: Critics can get behind new planning rules, says Eric Pickles

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