NPPF: Labour warns of 'uncertainty and chaos'

The new NPPF could lead to 'uncertainty and chaos' because of a lack of clarity over transition arrangements and decision-making, according to the shadow communities secretary.

Hilary Benn
Hilary Benn

Hilary Benn described the final NPPF as the "most fundamental change in planning policy in more than two generations".

Speaking in the House of Commons after the announcement by planning minister Greg Clark, Benn asked for further clarification on transition arrangements for councils which do not have an up-to-date local plan.

Benn described it as a "crucial issue" because about half of all councils do not currently have up-to-date plans.

He said the country "needs a planning system that will help produce the much-needed homes and businesses and jobs and transport connections of the future but which also protects the green spaces and special places we value.

"However, this revised NPPF may end up doing neither. Far from giving us certainty, there is likely to be delay as developments are held up by appeals and by the courts having to rule on a new and untested approach. In other words, uncertainty and chaos, the worst of all worlds, instead of the best of planning."

Benn went on to say the reason why 300,000 houses with planning permission are waiting to be built was because of the "failure" of the government’s economic policies not the planning system.

But he said he welcomed what he described as the government’s "U-turn" protecting playing fields and open spaces as well as the new definition of "sustainable development" based on five key principles.

The National Planning Policy Framework is available here.

NPPF live blog: Click through for all the latest developments as the government unveils the final draft of the national planning policy framework (NPPF).

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