The government has consulted on changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) to implement policy changes in response to the Building Better Building Beautiful Commission Living with Beauty report. Changes set out a greater emphasis on beauty and local distinctiveness and calls for poorly designed developments to be refused. Other amendments include greater reference to flood risk and climate change and the strengthening of policy wording for the use of Article 4 directions to restrict Permitted Development rights, in light of ongoing national changes to the planning system, as well as increased protection for historic statues and monuments (both listed and unlisted).
The government has additionally consulted on the draft National Model Design Code (NMDC). This is intended to provide guidance on the creation of design codes and policies by local planning authorities with community input throughout, to inform the design and character of development proposals and the creation of sustainable and distinctive places.
The Trust is supportive of the strengthening of policy for sustainable development and the protection of the natural and built environment. We welcome increased emphasis on the need for beautiful, well-designed places and the use of tools such as local design codes and masterplans to inform development proposals and reflect local character. We emphasise that Local Authorities will need additional resources and skills-based training to be able to undertake and deliver these character assessments with appropriate community consultation. We additionally feel that further clarity is needed regarding the role of civic and amenity societies as consultees throughout the plan-making process.
You can read our formal consultation response in full here.
The consultation period has now closed, but all consultation documents can be accessed via the government website.