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The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) - 12 Months On

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CPD Presentation given by Jonathan Braddick Chartered Architects Devon as part of the Royal Institute of British Architects ( RIBA ) South West City Club CPD curriculum 2013. …

CPD Presentation given by Jonathan Braddick Chartered Architects Devon as part of the Royal Institute of British Architects ( RIBA ) South West City Club CPD curriculum 2013.

The presentation explores the impact the National Planning Policy Framework has had on the planning process (if any) since its introduction.

Jonathan Braddick is a RIBA Chartered Architect based near Exeter in Devon, specialising in one off bespoke residential design and construction.Jonathan is the immediate past Chairman of the Plymouth Branch of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the current Chairman elect of the South West Region of the Royal Institute of British Architects ( RIBA ).

Jonathan is a member of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Design Review Panel and the founder and chair of the Devon and Somerset Design Review Panels.

For more information on the author please visit th following links:

http://www.jonathanbraddick.co.uk
&
http://www.designreviewpanel.co.uk

disclaimer: the information contained within the presentation is Copyright Jonathan Braddick 2013, for discussion purposes only and should not be relied upon or used for any other purpose whatsoever.

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  • 1. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) Does the NPPF increase the chances of obtaining planning approval? Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect 2013
  • 2. Planning – brief history:- • Town and Country Planning Act 1947 • Green Belts 1955 • Town and Country Planning Act 1990 • Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 • Localism Act 2011 By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 3. Open Source Planning:-  Localism in the planning system  Power of neighbourhood groups to add to local plan policies  Presumption in favour of sustainable By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 4. National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) – What is it?  The Framework replaces the current suite of national Planning Policy Statements, Planning Policy Guidance notes and some Circulars with a single, streamlined document.  NPPF was 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. By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 5. Simplification/Localism:To be an accessible document which can be understood and used by everybody who has an interest in shaping the development of their area. “by replacing around a thousand pages of national policy with around fifty, written simply and clearly, we are allowing people and communities back into planning” - Rt Hon Greg Clark MP Minister for Planning development 65 page document, plus a 27 page Technical Guidance document - still a large reduction from the previous guidance of over 1,300 pages. By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 6. Implementation ... Local planning authorities were given a 12 month transition period to ensure their plans were compliant with the new NPPF … ! By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 7. The Golden Thread? ... At the heart of the planning system is a presumption in favour of sustainable development, which should be seen as a golden thread running through both plan making and decision taking. Local planning authorities should plan positively for new development, and approve all individual proposals wherever possible. By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 8. The Golden Thread? ... At the heart of the planning system is a presumption in favour of sustainable development, which should be seen as a golden thread running through both plan making and decision taking. Local planning authorities should plan positively for new development, and approve all individual proposals wherever possible. By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 9. The Golden Thread? ... At the heart of the planning system is a presumption in favour of sustainable development, which should be seen as a golden thread running through both plan making and decision taking. Local planning authorities should plan positively for new development, and approve all individual proposals wherever possible. By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 10. The Golden Thread? ... At the heart of the planning system is a presumption in favour of sustainable development, which should be seen as a golden thread running through both plan making and decision taking. Local planning authorities should plan positively for new development, and approve all individual proposals wherever possible. By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 11. The Golden Thread? ... At the heart of the planning system is a presumption in favour of sustainable development, which should be seen as a golden thread running through both plan making and decision taking. Local planning authorities should plan positively for new development, and approve all individual proposals wherever possible. By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 12. The Golden Thread? ... At the heart of the planning system is a presumption in favour of sustainable development, which should be seen as a golden thread running through both plan making and decision taking. Local planning authorities should plan positively for new development, and approve all individual proposals wherever possible. By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 13. Key Concept:- “All plans should be based upon and contain the presumption in favour of sustainable development as their starting point, with clear policies that will guide how the presumption will be applied locally.” By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 14. Key Concept:- In considering applications for planning permission ... local planning authorities should apply the presumption in favour of sustainable development and ... ... seek to find solutions to overcome any substantial planning objections where practical and consistent with the Framework. By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 15. What is „Sustainable‟ Development ... “Sustainable development means development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs ... ... It is central to the economic, environmental and social success of the country and is the core principle underpinning planning. Simply stated, the principle recognises the importance of ensuring that all people should be able to satisfy their basic needs and enjoy a better quality of life, both now and in the future.” NPPF - Paragraph 8 By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 16. Core Planning Principles: Plan-led  Creative  Drive economic development  Secure good design  Take account of character  Support transition to a low carbon future  Conserve and enhance the natural environment  Encourage use of brown-field land  Promote mixed use developments  Conserve heritage assets in a manner appropriate to their significance.  Promote use of public transport  Support health, social and cultural facilities By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 17. Sustainable Development:Economic:- Building a strong competitive economy:•Falls to Local Authorities •Duty to co-operate with neighbouring authorities •Local Economic Partnerships (LEP) •Avoid the long term protection of sites allocated for employment use. - Ensuring the vitality of town centres - Supporting a prosperous rural economy:• No economic tests for conversion of rural buildings •Allows for replacement of existing buildings By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 18. Sustainable Development:Environmental:• climate change • natural environment • historic environment Social:• housing • design • sustainable communities • green belt By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 19. Environmental Tips for Design Teams:1.0 Involve a Sustainability Specialist early in the Planning & Design Process (Old RIBA Stage C)… Setting down sustainable principles, broad renewables strategies and designing in sustainable features at the masterplan stage will save substantial time and costs later in the process. As part of the design team, a sustainability advisor can help to negotiate with local authority planners to help shape the scheme to ensure sustainability goals may be achieved without compromise to the scheme‟s viability. By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 20. Environmental Tips for Design Teams:2.0 Local Planning, Energy, CO2 and the NPPF. Obtain clear direction from the Local Planning Authority on their sustainable goals … Many local Planning Authorities may be able to defer in part or fully to their own pre-NPPF guidance on Sustainability under Transitional Arrangements, some of which have very stringent Renewable Energy and CO2 emissions policies. For others, policy guidance isn‟t so clear. Gaining clear direction is critical. By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 21. Environmental Tips for Design Teams:3.0 Challenge the Policy Norms. Delivering sustainability and viability for a project will mean regularly challenging the policy norms. Dialogue with Local Authority Planners over Policy compliance is critical as this will have an enormous impact on the scheme and its viability. Absolute clarity from the local Planning Authority on their sustainable goals will save time and scheme costs. By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 22. Code for Sustainable Homes Pre Assessment Report Breakdown & Weighting to Assessment Topics By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 23. Code for Sustainable Homes Pre Assessment Report By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 24. Predicted Energy Assessments:- By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 25. Promoting Sustainable Transport:- “Transport policies have an important role to play in facilitating sustainable development but also in contributing to wider sustainability and health objectives”. • Smarter use of technologies can reduce the need to travel. • Pro sustainable transport modes, real choice on mode of travel. • Recognition that different policies & measures will be required in different communities. Opportunities to maximise sustainable transport solutions will vary from urban to rural areas. http://planningguidance.planningportal.gov.uk/ By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 26. Promoting Sustainable Transport:-  Encourage solutions which support reductions in greenhouse gas emissions & reduce congestion  Local authorities should work with neighbouring authorities & transport providers to develop strategies for the provision of viable infrastructure necessary to support sustainable development, including large scale facilities. http://planningguidance.planningportal.gov.uk/ By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 27. Promoting Sustainable Transport:All developments that generate significant amounts of movement should be supported by a Transport Statement or Transport Assessment. Plans and decisions should take account of whether:  opportunities for sustainable transport modes have been taken up depending on the nature and location of the site, to reduce the need for major transport infrastructure;  safe and suitable access to the site can be achieved for all people; and  improvements can be undertaken within the transport network that cost effectively limit the significant impacts of the development. http://planningguidance.planningportal.gov.uk/ By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 28. Promoting Sustainable Transport:-  Plans and decisions should ensure developments that generate significant movement are located where the need to travel will be minimised and the use of sustainable transport modes can be maximised.  However this needs to take account of policies set out elsewhere in this Framework, particularly in rural areas. http://planningguidance.planningportal.gov.uk/ By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 29. Promoting Sustainable Transport:Developments should be located and designed where practical to: accommodate the efficient delivery of goods & supplies;  give priority to pedestrian and cycle movements, & have access to high quality public transport facilities;  minimise conflicts between traffic and cyclists or pedestrians, where appropriate establishing home zones;  incorporate facilities for charging plug-in and other ultralow emission vehicles; and  consider the needs of people with disabilities by all modes of transport. All developments which generate significant amounts of movement should be required to provide a Travel Plan. By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 30. Promoting Sustainable Transport:- “Development should only be prevented or refused on transport grounds where the residual cumulative impacts of development are severe”. - NPPF Paragraph 32 By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 31. Good Design:- “Good design is indivisible from good planning and should contribute positively to making places better for people. The Government‟s objective for the planning system is to promote good design that ensures attractive, usable and durable places. This is a key element in achieving sustainable development.” - NPPF Paragraph 114 By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 32. Good Design:- “Good design is indivisible from good planning and should contribute positively to making places better for people. The Government‟s objective for the planning system is to promote good design that ensures attractive, usable and durable places. This is a key element in achieving sustainable development.” - NPPF Paragraph 114 By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 33. Good Design:- “Good design is indivisible from good planning and should contribute positively to making places better for people. The Government‟s objective for the planning system is to promote good design that ensures attractive, usable and durable places. This is a key element in achieving sustainable development.” - NPPF Paragraph 114 By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 34. Good Design:- “Good design is indivisible from good planning and should contribute positively to making places better for people. The Government‟s objective for the planning system is to promote good design that ensures attractive, usable and durable places. This is a key element in achieving sustainable development.” - NPPF Paragraph 114 By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 35. Good Design:- Very Strong emphasis in the NPPF on ‘good design’.  However, a local definition of good design  Includes function within definition of good design  Allows for & encourages Design Codes  Promotes Local Design Review By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 36. Design Review:- Regional By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 37. NEW (local) Devon & Somerset Design Review Panels ... • To provide an independent, impartial evaluation process … • … where a multi-disciplinary panel of built environment experts assess the design of significant proposals. www.designreviewpanel.co.uk
  • 38. Devon & Somerset Design Review Panel ... • exists to offer constructive comments on schemes, aiding their improvement, but not to fundamentally redesign them. • advises and empowers the decision makers on how to improve design quality, so as to meet the needs of their communities and customers. • will support decision makers in resisting poorly designed schemes. • will support decision makers in approving well designed schemes. By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 39. Design Review Panels ... As well as being of benefit to applicants, the Design Review Panel aims to help the project team in the following ways:- • Provide designers with constructive, impartial advice from fellow professionals. • Support unconventional high quality design proposals. • Examine the design of a project in the round. • Support good design intentions and pin-point any weaknesses. • Bring a fresh external viewpoint. • Reduce the risk of an unexpected decision. • Aid in provision of a more efficient service to clients By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 40. „Design Review: Principles & Practice‟ New publication „Design Review: Principles and Practice’:- Guide produced by CABE at the Design Council, the Landscape Institute, the RTPI and the RIBA. By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 41. 10 Principles of Good Design Review 1. Independent 6. Proportionate 2. Expert 7. Timely 3. Multidisciplinary 8. Advisory 4. Accountable 9. Objective 5. Transparent 10. Understandable By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 42. Design Review Timing:Ideally, schemes will be submitted to the panel at the pre-application stage of the planning process whilst the design is still fluid … …. this can help to identify design aspects that may be improved. This in turn may help resolve design issues before submission, saving time and expense. The design review will be treated as a conversation about work in progress, not a verdict on an outcome. By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 43. Promoting Healthy Communities  Strong promotion of community engagement  Includes support for community right to build By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 44. Demonstrating the 3 elements of Sustainability – Economic, Social & Environmental. The NPPF definition of sustainability is set out in the „Brundtland Commission Report‟. The definition is intended to be “constructively ambiguous.” An important conclusion is that sustainable development is a process, not an end in itself. Participation and genuine dialogue among stakeholders are key prerequisites for sustainable development. By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 45. More Recent Developments:External review of government planning practice guidance: report submitted by Lord Taylor of Goss Moor – December 2012  need for new guidance on areas that include neighbourhood planning, the duty on local planning authorities to co-operate and viability.  “The government urged to publish guidance on viability that looks beyond up-front development costs and provides for assessments to be made on a site-by-site basis, rather than whole area testing.” Statement by RIBA, the Town and Country Planning Association, BRE, the Campaign to Protect Rural England and Friends of the Earth. By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 46. More Recent Developments:-  'One year on from the NPPF, it is essential that the government assesses the impact of its reforms and provides clear guidance to ensure that issues such as financial viability are interpreted in the right way and balance the longer-term social and environmental needs of society, as well as up-front development costs,' - Anna Scott-Marshall, RIBA Head of External Affairs. By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 47. Implementation ... Local planning authorities were given a 12 month transition period to ensure their plans were compliant with the new NPPF … ! By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 48. So Does the NPPF Make it Easier to Obtain Planning Approval ...?  Local plans, written by the authorities, remain the first point of reference for planning decision-makers.  Only if authorities fail to put an up-to-date plan in place are they likely to find their decisions regularly overturned by inspectors, citing the NPPF's presumption in favour of sustainable development. "Pre NPPF inspectors would inevitably give full weight to the development plan, even if it was dated,“ "There was still a huge risk in going to appeal. The NPPF's introduction was a game changer". - Anthony Aitken, head of planning at consultancy Colliers By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 49. So Does the NPPF Make it Easier to Obtain Planning Approval ...? Slightly more than half of English local authorities do not have an adopted local plan.  Among English LPAs, 48 % had an adopted plan,  1% have had their plan found sound at examination but not yet adopted,  13 % have submitted their plan for examination,  11 % have published their plan  27 % have no plan at all. http://www.planningresource.co.uk/news/ By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 50. So Does the NPPF Make it Easier to Obtain Planning Approval ...?  Full coverage could be years away.  13 % of English authorities say that they will not have an adopted plan in place for more than 18 months, and 26 per cent say they will not have one in place in a year's time.  The timetable for full plan coverage will be further delayed if authorities hit unexpected problems in adopting local plans. It is reported that several councils have recently struggled to get their plans through inspection. Think-tank the Local Government Information Unit, in a study published 2013 By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 51. So Does the NPPF Make it Easier to Obtain Planning Approval ...?  The most vulnerable are local authorities with no plan at all, or an emerging plan in its very early stages.  The NPPF attaches greater weight to an emerging plan as its preparation advances http://www.planningresource.co.uk/news/ By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 52. So Does the NPPF Make it Easier to Obtain Planning Approval ...? In what ways might adopted plans be challenged for not complying with the NPPF?  “Pre NPPF, [inspectors] would still give pre-eminence to the development plan, even if you could prove a lack of land supply, But [post-NPPF], if you are a local authority that doesn't have a five year land supply, there's now a big truck coming towards you".  He says that he is now telling clients to start preparing applications for green-field expansion in areas where authorities do not have the five year land supply in place. Anthony Aitken, head of planning at consultancy Colliers By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 53. So Does the NPPF Make it Easier to Obtain Planning Approval ...? Are there reasons why planning authorities might find it harder than before to maintain a five year supply of housing?  Yes  LA‟s need to meet previous obligations to provide five year supply of land for housing, plus a buffer of 5 % or, if they have a track record of persistent under-delivery of housing, 20 %  Increased onus on demonstrating that allocated sites are genuinely viable for development.  According to the Campaign to Protect Rural England, this is testing local authorities that had included a lot of brown-field land in their five year supply, because brown-field sites are generally more expensive than green-field to build on. By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 54. So Does the NPPF Make it Easier to Obtain Planning Approval ...? Is there evidence of a growth in permissions for unplanned development in the year since the NPPF was published?  Not yet enough data to paint a comprehensive picture BUT …  Analysis of appeals relating to large housing schemes (50 dwellings or more) that took place in the nine months following the NPPF's publication:  Showed that the number of homes that were refused permission at appeal about a quarter of the total number in the schemes that went to appeal.  Compared to around half in the nine months before the NPPF came out.  The data suggests that more new homes that are part of big schemes are winning permission at appeal than before. Survey by Savilles By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 55. So Does the NPPF Make it Easier to Obtain Planning Approval ...? Is there evidence of a growth in permissions for unplanned development in the year since the NPPF was published?  Not yet enough data to paint a comprehensive picture BUT …  Analysis of appeals relating to large housing schemes (50 dwellings or more) that took place in the nine months following the NPPF's publication:  Showed that the number of homes that were refused permission at appeal about a quarter of the total number in the schemes that went to appeal.  Compared to around half in the nine months before the NPPF came out.  The data suggests that more new homes that are part of big schemes are winning permission at appeal than before. Survey by Savilles By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 56. So Does the NPPF Make it Easier to Obtain Planning Approval ...? "The appetite of developers to go to appeal has certainly increased post NPPF," - Charles Collins, associate director at Savills. By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 57. So Does the NPPF Make it Easier to Obtain Planning Approval ...? Analysis By The Campaign To Protect Rural England (CPRE) March 2013: “CPRE has closely observed how the NPPF is being implemented on the ground and what we have seen is deeply disturbing. Despite the rhetoric of localism, it now seems that local communities are increasingly powerless to prevent damaging development even in the most sensitive locations”. - CPRE Chief Executive Shaun Spiers By Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect
  • 58. Thank You Jonathan Braddick – RIBA Chartered Architect

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