Policy review pledges shift

The forthcoming national planning framework (NPF) will usher in a drastic cull of central policy guidance, planning minister Bob Neill has told councillors.

Neill told the RTPI politicians in planning network conference in Sheffield that DCLG policy and guidance documents run to 7,000 pages. "That's crazy. We are determined to be radical about pruning it," he said.

Formal consultation on the NPF will begin early next year. Ministers hope to make good progress on it by next summer's target date for approval of the localism bill. "We regard it as a high priority," said Neill.

He refused to be drawn on third party appeal rights but pledged that the bill will abolish controls on pre-determination. "They are anti-democratic and not in the interests of good planning," he declared.

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