Ian Tant, Barton Willmore
The delay in bringing forward the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) is excruciating. I’ve said this before but while the draft released in July 2011 may not have been perfect, it formed a good operating basis for the new planning system.
The uncertainty since the close of the consultation period last October has caused at least some Local Planning Authorities to put their pens down, declining to move forward on their Core Strategies until the national planning policy is clarified.
The delay has also given cause for wild speculation about the contents and timing of the NPPF. As late as Sunday 18 March, the chancellor was telling Andrew Marr on the BBC that the NPPF would be out in Budget week and many people expected a firm announcement in the Budget speech with the NPPF following later that day. They were disappointed – although the chancellor did promise its publication by the communities department on Tuesday 27 March.
So we’re still waiting, even if for only a further six days.
And what can we expect in the NPPF? Well, the Budget speech did at least give some clues, even if some were just teases:
All this suggests the NPPF won’t be far removed from the July 2011 draft – but the devil will be in the detail. We only have a few more days to speculate…
Ian Tant is senior partner at planning consultant Barton Willmore