John Fosbraey - dohertybaines Planning Consultant

The first draft of the National Planning Policy Framework will couple the idea that economic growth always causes environmental degradation and set a tough, pro development agenda, according to documents obtained by Property Week.

The draft, produced by the NPPF advisory group and due to be revealed by Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles next week, represents a change in tone and an overall simplification of the national planning system in favour of locally driven development.

Under the new regime, the issue of viability will be given greater significance and local authorities will develop a single, local plan, rather than local development frameworks as part of a bid to simplify the process.

The plan will also reduce the powers of the secretary of state to call-inschemes of national importance, placing the responsibility entirely in the hands of local authorities.

In a letter to Greg Clark, published this morning, the advisory group said: We believe that there need be no inconsistency between the promotion of the increased levels of development which the country needs and the protection of the environment.

Indeed we hope that this is a clear and strong theme in our draft based on the idea that economic growth can be decoupled from environmental degradation.

Properly planned, increased levels of development can enable to achievement of multiple wins enhanced economic growth. Better access to housing and the means to achieve positive environmental enhancement.

The draft will argue that town centre planning must be more proactive as retail requirements are currently constrained to town centres.

For further information please call John Fosbraey.

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