POS Response to Revised NPPF publication
27 July 2018
The Planning Officers Society (POS) welcomes the fact that MHCLG has considered and positively responded to consultation responses in some important areas, including on the retention of social rented housing within the 'affordable housing' definition, design quality, the approach to small sites and climate change.
Paul Seddon, POS's President said 'POS will work with both its members and partners across the sector to help with its successful implementation. However, POS remains concerned that there is still a 'one size fits all' approach in parts of the Revised Framework despite the complex different issues facing planning across the country.'
To achieve the Framework's successful implementation we need to have not only the resources within planning departments, which are becoming increasingly hard to secure given the pressures on local government funding, but also the necessary range of tools to implement the expectations of the NPPF. However, despite cross-sector consultation responses identifying the need to support the resourcing of local planning authorities there appears to be virtually no consideration of this by Government in its response.
The Society is also disappointed that despite only 9% of local authorities supporting the Housing Delivery Test, and some other responders questioning it, the Government continues to pursue the approach and that the penalties will lie with councils, and thus local communities, when housing isn't delivered when, in most cases, this lies outside of their control. This is exacerbated by continuing with what is considered to be an unworkable definition of 'deliverability'. Such penalties and approaches work to undermine the Plan Led System and the ability to create great places supported by necessary infrastructure.
Despite reservations and concerns with respect to some aspects of the revised Framework the Society will continue to develop and promote practical ways of supporting positive outcomes, including through building on its Manifesto and supporting documents including on changes to Compulsory Purchase legislation, Plan Making and the delivery of Affordable Housing.