NPPF -National Planning Policy Framework
News Item: Oct 2014
The following is based on notes prepared by another local group called “Protect Congleton” but are of general interest
A Parliamentary Committee is reviewing the NPPF and after listening to the views
the construction industry, professional associations of the planning industry, housing
providers and conservation organisations, parish councils and action groups were
heard on Sep 1st.
The topics debated were the operation of the NPPF, the provision of housing, the value of Local Plans and views on localism and local democracy. Across England the same message came through loud and clear - a very negative experience of local community views not being taken into account, considerable anger at the arbitrary way in which housing numbers have been imposed and at the fact that even local planning authorities cannot control the spread of speculative development. The local councillors who attended expressed their concerns at the failure of the system to provide decent and relevant infrastructure or even the kind of housing that their areas needed.
It seemed evident that whilst lip-service was paid to localism, the real power rested in an unelected and unaccountable coterie of Inspectors and developers. Many subjects such as expensive and litigious practices, powerful construction interests, democratic deficit, failure to give social and ecological factors due weight in the process, unaccountability of the decision-makers, fears about inadequate provision for infrastructure and flood prevention, dearth of high-street shopping, heavy household debt and negative equity, received an airing in the plenary session after the round-table exercises.
The architects of the NPPF have it seems created a Developers' Charter and it is time that a more democratic and better balanced system was put in place. It is up to us, as the electorate, to inform that evidence and to ensure that our communities get a fair deal on planning and local democracy. The Review is still open for comment and information about where to send your evidence it is available on the Committee for Communities and Local Government portal.