National Planning Policy Framework

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NOMA, a proposed mixed-use development in central Manchester.

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) is a land-use planning policy in the United Kingdom.

The NPPF was originally published by the UK's Department of Communities and Local Government in March 2012, consolidating over two dozen previously issued documents called Planning Policy Statements (PPS) and Planning Policy Guidance Notes (PPG) for use in England. A revised NPPF was published by the UK Government's Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government on 24 July 2018. This is the first revision of the National Planning Policy Framework since 2012. It implements around 85 reforms announced previously through the Housing White Paper, the planning for the right homes in the right places consultation and the draft revised National Planning Policy Framework consultation.[1] The revised NPPF has since been updated on 19 February 2019 following a technical consultation to redefine deliverable housing.[2] On 23 May 2019 the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government issued a Written Ministerial Statement to remove paragraph 209a from the revised National Planning Policy Framework following a legal judgement.


On 20 December 2010, the Minister for Decentralization and Planning, Greg Clark MP, announced a review of planning policy, designed to consolidate all policy statements, circulars and guidance documents into a single, simpler National Planning Policy Framework.[3]

A consultation draft of the NPPF was subsequently published on 25 July 2011 which raised a large number of responses and concerns from national organizations such as the National Trust.[4]

The final original version was published on 27 March 2012. Despite the pledge for a national policy of only fifty pages, the NPPF was released as a 65-page document,[5] together with a 27-page Technical Guidance document,[6] though this was still a large reduction from the previous guidance of over 1300 pages. Local planning authorities were given a 12-month transition period to ensure their plans were compliant with the new NPPF.[7]

Following 5 years of the new condensed NPPF being in place the UK Government announced their intention to revise the NPPF in order to ensure policies were up to date.



The potential negative impact of the NPPF on UK archaeology has been heavily debated, with archaeologists noting that there is likely to be considerable tension between the immediate-term impacts of the process of government deregulation in the NPPF and the medium-term impacts of another key government priority – its localism agenda as enshrined in the Localism Act of 2011, which places much greater planning control in the hands of local communities. The NPPF is likely to encourage development through its streamlined planning system, but the Localism Act of 2011 is equally likely to stall development through its commitment to local communities having a greater say in what is (and crucially is not) built in their neighbourhood, a process likely to block many developments.[8]


Friends of the Earth (FOE) has criticised the NPPF revisions for lack of environmental review, in that it makes it "virtually impossible" for councils to refuse fracking schemes, that it fails to address the problems in coal developments or on building within green belts, and that it introduces harsh rules for wind farms.[9] FOE has argued that, as the United Kingdom is still part of the EU, a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) was required as part of the revision of a public plan.[9]

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has raised concerns about the extreme streamlining of the revised NPPF, indicating that it treats land as a commodity, rather than as a finite resource. CPRE said Planning is pointless if the outcomes it delivers would be little different from what would happen without a planning system.[9][10]

Planning Practice Guidance[edit]

Publication of the NPPF has been followed by the release of a wide range of online Planning Practice Guidance. [1] As of 2019, the guidance extends to over 50 categories covering a wide range of subjects including Green Belt, Light Pollution and Viability. The amount of guidance in circulation has grown significantly in recent years meaning the volume of government planning advice is similar to what existed prior to the introduction of the NPPF. Unlike changes to the NPPF, much of the practice guidance has been issued without prior consultation or advance notification.


  1. ^ Retrieved 25 July 2018. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ "Revised National Planning Policy Framework". GOV.UK. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  3. ^ "NATIONAL PLANNING POLICY FRAMEWORK (ENGLAND)". Royal Town Planning Institute. Archived from the original on 9 June 2012. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
  4. ^ "Hands Off Our Land: stop this planning free-for-all, National Trust warns". The Telegraph. 14 November 2011. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
  5. ^ "National Planning Policy Framework". Communities and Local Government. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
  6. ^ "Technical Guidance to the National Planning Policy Framework". Communities and Local Government. Archived from the original on 30 May 2012. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
  7. ^ "National Planning Policy Framework unveiled". Planning Portal. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
  8. ^ Flatman, Joe; Perring, Dominic (2012). "The National Planning Policy Framework and Archaeology: A Discussion". Papers from the Institute of Archaeology. 22: 4–10. doi:10.5334/pia.390.
  9. ^ a b c Laker, Laura (4 September 2018). "Government faces court action over 'illegal' planning policy". Archived from the original on 4 September 2018.
  10. ^ "Full CPRE response to National Planning Policy Framework consultation". The Campaign to Protect Rural England. 2018. Archived from the original on 4 September 2018.

External links[edit]

Official website