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Government consider 'transitional period' for controversial planning reforms

Out-Law News | 06 Oct 2011 | 5:02 pm | 1 min. read

The Government is considering implementing a 'transitional period' before the draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) is enacted to allow councils to update their local plans.

This has developed amid fears that the NPPF would result in a raft of development across green belt land because the policy says that in the absence of an up to date local plan, permission should be granted.  

“Even those authorities that have adopted their new Core Strategies may well find that they become out of date due to the stripping away of detail at the national level and the abolition of regional strategies," said Richard Griffiths, a planning law expert at Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com. 

"Authorities may need to review their Core Strategies to add more detail to them, which in turn could lead to further work for those authorities short of resources," said Griffiths. 

Ministers are willing to compromise on timing of the implementation of the framework to ensure a smooth delivery, according to a report in Property Week. Ministers have gone to great lengths to indicate that this does not mean it is an open ended transition period, the report said. 

"The controversy over the draft NPPF has given Councils a real shove in moving ahead with their Local Planning framework more quickly," said Richard Ford, a planning law expert at Pinsent Masons. "However, I wouldn't want any transition period to be too long, or it could lead to a loss of momentum.” 

The Government will not comment on the length of any transitional period and when asked how long councils would be given to draw up their plans, ministers refused to “pre-empt the consultation”.