This is a very important consultation because its scope cover many sectors including for water, coast, flooding, environment and energy. Don’t be put off by the skew and spin in the media over house building. There are some interesting ideas and commitments and links to the 25 year environment plan. This consultation was launched by the Prime Minster and there is a link to her speech. Commitments to ancient woodlands and net environmental gain. Pity about the back-door support for fracking. Four articles and links   Bob Earll

1. Consultation description

The draft revised National Planning Policy Framework incorporates policy proposals previously consulted on in the Housing White Paper and the Planning for the right homes in the right places consultation – the government responses to these are available at the respective consultation pages.

Budget 2017 included additional proposals to change planning policy and legislation to bring forward more land in the right places. This consultation seeks views on these additional policy proposals. The below National Planning Policy Framework consultation document sets out these proposals and the consultation questions. Details of how to respond to the consultation can be found in this document, and there is a link to an online survey at the bottom of this page.

Below is a full package of documents to support the consultation. Alongside the National Planning Policy Framework consultation documents, we have published for reference the draft planning practice guidance on viability and the housing delivery test measurement rulebook. We will publish additional draft planning practice guidance for reference later this week. Click here to see the consultation

2. PM speech on housing to set out changes to planning rules

Prime Minister Theresa May will make a speech on housing to set out changes to planning rules. Theresa May will today [5 March 2018] warn developers who are too slow to build houses that their past record could count against them when they bid for new planning permissions. 

3. Woodland Trust Prime Minister Theresa May has announced plans to overhaul England’s planning policy that will afford ancient woodland far more robust protection.

The Woodland Trust has led the charge for decades for ancient woods to be given the same protection as our manmade heritage.  It is now proposed that the National Planning Policy Framework will state “development resulting in the loss or deterioration of irreplaceable habitats such as ancient woodland should be refused, unless there are wholly exceptional reasons.”

Beccy Speight, Woodland Trust CEO, said: “At last! The Government’s decision to amend planning policy to robustly – finally – protect ancient woodland is great news, and not before time. The proposed change will make the words on ancient woodland protection contained in the recent 25 year plan for the environment a reality.

“Our natural heritage and our wildlife have been sold off too cheaply and easily in the past and we’re delighted to see the Government is waking up to this and taking action.

4. The Government accused of trying to “skew” planning policy in favour of fracking

CIWEM The Government has been accused of trying to “skew” planning policy in favour of fracking, after proposed changes to the system were unveiled.

Proposed amendments to planning rules say authorities should recognise the benefits of onshore oil and gas for securing energy supplies and “supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy”.

A new draft of the national planning policy framework says mineral planning authorities should put in place policies to facilitate the exploration and extraction of onshore oil and gas, which would include fracking for shale. The proposed amendments also say a wind energy development of one or more turbines should not be considered acceptable unless it has the backing of the local community.

Environmental campaigners said the changes, which have been put out for consultation, were trying to skew planning policy to favour fracking, even though it had little public support compared with onshore wind.

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