Small but Mighty Changes in the Revised National Planning Policy Framework – Achieving Sustainable Development

19th October 2018

The Government’s objectives for the Framework remain largely unchanged in terms of sustainable development.

No longer is the presumption in favour of sustainable development seen as the ‘golden thread’ running through the NPPF. However, the ‘presumption in favour of sustainable development’ is still considered to be at the heart of the Framework and the three overarching objectives to achieving sustainable development remain unchanged, they are:

  • an economic objective;
  • a social objective; and
  • an environmental objective.

Under decision-taking, the Framework now reads ‘approving development proposals that accord with an up-to-date development plan without delay’. The insertion of the wording is assumed to be as a direct result of the various judgement handed down challenging the ‘presumption in favour’ since 2012

The status of the Development Plan (including neighbourhood plans) is still the starting point for decision making and is not overridden by the presumption in favour of sustainable development. Where applications conflict with the up-to-date development plan, permission should not usually be granted unless material considerations indicate otherwise.

The framework certainly places more significance on the status of Neighbourhood Planning, which is another theme running through the Framework and could indicate the Government’s direction of travel.

To find out more or how this affects your planning applications, please contact us on 01256 766673.

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