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An ode to the nppf
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An ode to the nppf

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NPPF response

NPPF response


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  • 1. The National Planning Framework receives some poetic justice.The National Planning FrameworkEffective planning strategy or coalition rhetoric gone beserk?From thousands of pages down to 52Does it shed clarity on what planning is there to do?Or is muddled, confused and contradictory?Adodgy foundation from which our economy can renewOr planning’s final valedictory?At its heart lies the notion of development that is sustainableSet within emerging definitions and rhetoric that are rarely attainableEconomic primacy rules the roostWith the express aim of giving us all an economic boostGreen belt and designations are given necessary protectionYet outdatedassumptions of their continued relevance cause frustrationBut what of this thing called localism and big societyNeighbourhood plans, greenspace designations, community right to build, all challenge centralistmediocrity.Yet, despite the hype of communities shaping their own future liveabilityAll MUST follow the local plan or rely on referendums with an outright majoritySo what of the academic assessmentThe key determinant is going to be sustainable developmentA legal nightmare of definition, interpretation and procrastinationWill undoubtedly slow down planning decisions amidst increasing frustrationThe enemy of enterprise is short term fixes and uncertainty
  • 2. A lawyer’s paradise that is destined to pit developer against communityYet, each policy area in isolation hassome positive trajectorySome fine words from the established planning vocabularyBut beware of the inherent contradictionsSustainability is not something fuelled just by economic growth adulationsIts about building peoples capacity, confidence and comprehensionsIts not just blanket Protection of Green belt and existing designationsIts about understanding connectivity and dependencies and opportunitiesWhere environment and people are assets to be valued despite long term uncertaintiesClimate change requires more focus on adaptabilityWhere policy dogma shifts to encompass increased flexibilityWe need to be bold and innovateAs environment change recognises no authority boundaries or an expiry dateWe need much better data and understanding from which to planPolicy on presumption is outdated, dangerous and requires a banAnd what of spatial planning; from global to Local scaleDisconnects will lead undoubtedly to perverse actions that will ultimately failWe need a national map that highlights new national infrastructure avoiding the ad-hoc trapAnd so planning can assume its rightful place as a positive agent of change rather than its perceptionas bureaucratic crap.