Councils blame new NPPF for fresh local plan delays

Two local authorities have announced that publication of the new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) has further delayed progress on their local plans.

Warrington: council claims new NPPF has delayed local plan
Warrington: council claims new NPPF has delayed local plan

Warrington Borough Council and St Helens Council have both announced delays to their draft plans since the new NPPF was published.

Both authorities said they need extra time to consider the implications of the updated document.

Warrington had originally planned to publish its draft local plan in the autumn but has said it is now aiming for the end of the year.

The council said it will need to consider the implications of both the new NPPF and updated population projections recently released by the Office for National Statistics.

Council leader Terry O’Neill said: "We are making good progress in the delivery of our local plan, but we now need to consider the new population forecasts, as well as changes to planning policy, so that we get this plan right. We’ll be working hard to achieve this over the coming months."

Warrington Council is reviewing its local plan after the High Court quashed its adopted local plan's housing policies in 2015.

St Helens, meanwhile, was aiming to publish a proposed submission version of its local plan this summer but has now said the document will not be completed until autumn at the earliest.

According to the council, it wishes to take account of both new policies in the revised NPPF and feedback from a recent consultation.

"It is crucial for the borough’s future that we deliver a balanced strategy for our future housing and employment needs," a council spokesman said.

"That is why we are taking the time necessary to consider the views put forward, and the changing rulings of central government."

This is the latest delay to the St Helens plan. In October last year, the council said the authority needed more time to consider the implications of the proposed standard methodology for assessing housing need.

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