21st December 2011
A default answer of ‘yes’ to development should be removed from the National Planning Policy Framework (NPFF) says the Communities and Local Government Committee in its review of the draft framework.
The phrase ‘significantly and demonstrably’ must also be removed from the presumption that all planning applications should be approved unless the adverse effects ‘significantly and demonstrably’ outweigh the benefits, say the MPs because it adds a further barrier to the achievement of truly sustainable development.
As currently drafted, the NPPF defines the phrase ‘sustainable development’ inadequately and often conflates it with ‘sustainable economic growth’ warns the CLG Committee and reiterates the Prime Minister’s belief that ‘sustainable development has environmental and social dimensions as well as an economic dimensions’
Furthermore, MPs also call for a sensible transition period with a clear and realistic timetable. This should give local authorities time to put Local Plans in place where they have not already done so.