The Alliance on the National Planning Policy Framework

13 April 2012: Joint letter to the Times from Loyd Grossman, Alliance Chairman

In conjunction with the National Trust, Civic Voice, RSPB, the Wildlife Trusts and CPRE, the Alliance called on Government to continue the good work done in the NPPF. See the full text here.

27 March 2012: The Alliance response to reformed NPPF

On 27 March 2012 the then-Planning Minister Greg Clark published the updated NPPF document. See our response here.

21 December 2011: The Alliance response to the CLG Select Committee’s report

On 21 December the Alliance responded to the CLG Select Committee’s report on the NPPF. See our response here.

25 October 2011: The Alliance briefs Peers ahead of NPPF Grand Committee debate

On 25 October the Alliance delivered to Peers its briefing on the NPPF, ahead of the Lords’ Grand Committee debate on Thursday 27 October at 2pm. See our briefing here.

14 October 2011: The Alliance submits it response to the CLG consultation

Following consultation with members, on Friday 14 October The Heritage Alliance submitted its response to the Department for Communities and Local Government’s NPPF consultation. See our covering letter here and our full response here.

Round-up of Alliance members’ comments & responses on the NPPF consultation

  • NPPF must not be silent on culture, says The Theatres Trust
  • We believe in growth but not at all costs, says The National Trust
  • We have strong concerns the NPPF would be both unworkable and damaging, says CPRE
  • We need more planning not less if we’re to achieve smart growth not urban sprawl, says Civic Voice
  • The NPPF proposes a more flexible system within environmental limits, says the CLA
  • The NPPF lacks key detail and clarity on the historic environment, says the HHA
  • The NPPF represents dumbing down and oversimplfication of complex issues, says Greenspace
  • Concerns remain about degree of protection for undesignated assets and lack of emphasis on the need for specialist expertise, says FAME
  • The NPPF falls into the trap of equating brevity with clarity, says the Historic Towns Forum
  • The NPPF could lead to sites and buildings of archaeological interest being destroyed without adequate investigation, analysis and dissemination, says the IfA
  • There are concerns that the NPPF will leave local communities and planning authorities largely powerless in the face of developer pressure, says the Ramblers Association
  • Significant further changes are needed to maintain protection at PPS5 levels, says the CBA
  • NPPF not acceptable unless SD definition fully embraces environmental & cultural factors, and includes PPs5′s presumption in favour of conservation of designated assets, says SPAB
  • ‘Yes’ to the presumption in favour of sustainable development, but ‘No’ to its ambiguous interpretation, says IHBC

Members whose responses haven’t yet been noted above can email their link for inclusion to Emma Robinson

26 September 2011: The Alliance hosts members’ forum on NPPF response

The Heritage Alliance’s members’ forum on the National Planning Policy Framework took place on Monday 26 September from 2.00pm to 5.00pm in the Court Room at St Andrew Holborn, 7 St Andrew Street, London EC4A 3AB. The afternoon give members an opportunity to feed-in directly to the Alliance’s formal response to the NPPF consultation, find out more about the Government’s proposals, and meet other members, Alliance Trustees and staff. The Alliance is currently formulating its response, which will be published here shortly.

16 September 2011: The Heritage Alliance submits its evidence to the Select Committee Inquiry

In July the House of Commons Communities and Local Government Committee  and the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee launched an Inquiry into the NPPF, calling for written submissions on the way the presumption in favour of sustainable development is dealt with in the document.

The two committees agreed that the evidence received by the CLG Committee would be shared with the EAC, and the EAC will seek to conclude its brief inquiry in time to inform the CLG Committee’s inquiry. The CLG Committee intends to hold oral evidence sessions in October and November. For the full list of questions the committee is seeking evidence on, and the guidelines for submission, click here.

The Alliance submitted its evidence to the Inquiry on 16 September. It’s now public here.

25 July 2011: The Heritage Alliance’s initial comments on the draft NPPF

We will comment more fully following comprehensive liaison with our members at our NPPF forum on 26 September.

The Alliance welcomes the publication of the long-awaited draft National Planning Policy Statement (NPPF), and supports the general principle behind the Government’s planning reforms – to empower local communities.

Whilst we support the intention to simplify planning policy and guidance, we strongly urge the Government not to lose sight of the need to retain strong and unambiguous policy and guidance for specific areas. We have concerns about several areas of the draft NPPF, which if left unresolved would result in a downgrading of protection for the historic environment. This cannot be allowed to happen. Our concerns are focussed on:

1. The presumption in favour of sustainable development: The Heritage Alliance believes strongly that the NPPF should indeed channel economic growth, but should not be led by it. We are concerned that the strong bias in favour of granting permission throughout the document would result in decisions being made without sufficient consideration being given to environmental, cultural and social considerations.

2. Are principles of PPS5 adequately incorporated into the NPPF?: Planning Policy Statement 5: Planning for the Historic Environment (PPS 5) embraces a holistic, integrated approach to the management of change in the historic environment. The widely accepted policy principles embedded in PPS5 should be carried through in to the final NPPF without any diminution of their standing, to provide a workable tool for practitioners, owners and applicants. It was hoped that there would be a more overt statement in favour of conservation than that which appears in the Historic Environment section of the current NPPF draft, and definitions such as ‘substantial harm’ will certainly need to be explored in more detail.

3. Planning documents must be fully integrated: The NPPF, Localism Bill and related Practice Guidance must be fully integrated and coherent as a whole, to ensure a clear framework in which our irreplaceable historic environment can continue to deliver a wide range of public goods and, not least, safeguard our truly wonderful heritage for future generations to enjoy.

27 June 2011: The Heritage Alliance’s response to the Practitioners Advisory Group draft

The Practitioners Advisory Group (PAG) - appointed by the Decentralisation Minister Greg Clark - held a meeting on 8 June, at which The Heritage Alliance was present, to discuss its draft of the new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The PAG encouraged the historic environment sector to propose amendments to its draft, which would be forwarded to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).  The Heritage Alliance’s response to the PAG - copied to Decentralisation Minister at DCLG Greg Clark, and Heritage Minister at DCMS John Penrose, can be found here.

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