Changes to National Planning Policy Framework announced

The Ministry of Housing has announced seven changes to the national planning policy framework (NPPF) including the ‘Building Beautiful Places’ plan – a plan that suggests high design quality will be of paramount importance.

The Government have recently announced changes to the NPPF. The first of which focuses on design quality – stating that the updated policies will ensure strengthened designs for new build properties as well as providing “maximum clarity” on design expectations. The reform also involves an increased focus on beauty within the planning process. Another section of the reforms includes that new streets must be ‘tree-lined’ as well as new developments including trees within the designs as the emphasis on the aesthetic is continued.

Further changes to the NPPF include solar panels now being classed as ‘essential infrastructure’ from a flood risk perspective. Subsequently, solar farms will no longer need to meet the exception test in flood zones 1 and 2. A further section of the reformed NPPF encourages increased sustainable development as the government looks to continue the battle against climate change – outlining the importance of making ‘effective use of land’ in urban areas.

The remaining changes to the framework include the protection of historical statues. Paragraph 198 states that authorities should “explain statues where possible” rather than having them removed. There has also been added focus on public service infrastructure, with changes to the framework stating local planning authorities should work “proactively”.

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