The government is currently ripping up the old planning guidance and replacing it with a new, much shorter National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). Unfortunately, there is no vision as to the future development of England in this document.
The draft NPPF redefines sustainable development as growth, and in particular refuses to recognise environmental limits. Droughts and floods are just two examples of the limitations of the environment to support ever more development in certain areas without direct consequences
The presumption in favour of development will undermine the local plan, and could undermine community input. It could also lead to poor and inappropriate development.
The draft policies in the NPPF ranging from housing to transport to minerals are all underpinned by a drive to permit development and not by sustainable development principles that recognise environmental limits. The planning system did not lead to the collapse in the financial system, or the collapse in the housing market. But the planning system is being appropriated to drive unsustainable, poor quality growth of a certain type forward. This will be at the expense of communities and the environment.
National Planning Policy Framework: Planning for the future:
A briefing giving you an overview of the NPPF