Silkin Test

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The Silkin Test is a UK planning policy designed to control major developments which will affect areas classified as National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

The three main criteria state that -

  1. it must be in the National interest;
  2. there is no practicable alternative to development in a National Park;
  3. must be built in a way that minimises detrimental effects on the environment. [1]

The test was contained in Planning Policy Statement (PPS) 7: Sustainable Development in Rural Areas (formerly PPG7)[2] PPS7 has now been replaced by the National Planning Policy Framework (2012), in which paras. 115/116 set out a differently-worded test.


The criteria were first proposed by the then Minister of Town and Country Planning, Lewis Silkin MP in 1949. [3]

Notable applications[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Environmental conditions placed on South Wales pipeline". Department of Trade and Industry (National) (Press release). Government News Network. 7 February 2007. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007.
  2. ^ until August 2004 the test was contained in its precursor - Planning Policy Guidance (PPG) 7: The Countryside – Environmental Quality and Economic and Social Development.
  3. ^ Brotherton, D I (1989). "The evolution and implications of mineral planning policy in the national parks of England and Wales". Environment and Planning. A21 (9): 1229–1240. doi:10.1068/a211229.