There are some important changes in relation to plan-making in the revised NPPF.
Plan-making is given more prominence in the new NPPF, forming the second main chapter. The status of the development plan remains and section three of the NPPF on plan-making states that the planning system should be ‘genuinely plan-led’.
Local Planning authorities are encouraged to produce their Local Plans in a user-friendly way by being succinct, clearly written and unambiguous. Good use of digital media is also encouraged.
There is now a differentiation between strategic and non-strategic policies. Strategic policies set out the overall strategy for development of all kinds in the area, addressing opportunities including the amount and location of new development. These are to be set out in joint or individual local plans over at least a 15-year period.
Non-strategic policies set out the detail for specific areas, or for types of development. They can include site allocations at the local level. Non-strategic policies set out the detail for specific areas, or for types of development. They can include site allocations at the local level. Non-strategic policies can be included within local plans or Neighbourhood plans.
The revised NPPF has also confirmed that Local Plan policies should be reviewed to assess whether they need updating at least once every five years. The review should be completed within five years from the adoption date of a Plan, and an update will follow if necessary. Reviews might be needed sooner if the housing need figure has changed significantly, either upwards or downwards.
Examinations into Local Plans will still consider legal and procedural requirements and whether the plan is sound. Authorities that submit their local plans for examination on or before 24 January 2017 will be tested against policies in the 2012 NPPF, development plans submitted after that date will be examined under the new version.
To find out more or how this affects your planning applications, please contact us on 01256 766673.