New National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and National Model Design Code Consultation

05 February 2021

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) have launched a consultation, from 30 January 2021 to 27 March 2021, proposing a number of changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The majority of these changes relate to policy on quality and design of new developments in response to the recommendations of the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission.

MHCLG stressed that this process is not an entire overhaul of the NPPF or a reflection of proposals for wider planning reform set out in the Planning for Future consultation document. A comprehensive review of the Framework will be required in due course to reflect wider planning reforms. This will be subject to decisions on how they are taken forward.

Below is a summary of the proposed amendments to the NPPF:

  • Implement policy changes in response to the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission recommendations.
  • Make a number of changes to strengthen environmental policies – including those arising from the review of flood risk with Defra.
  • Include minor changes to clarify policy in order to address legal issues.
  • Include changes to remove or amend out of date material.
  • Include an update to reflect a recent change made in a Written Ministerial Statement about retaining and explaining statues.
  • Clarification on the use of Article 4 directions.

As part of this consultation, MHCLG are also seeking views on the draft National Model Design Code in practice and the model processes it sets out. The Code forms part of the government’s planning policy guidance but it is not a statement of national policy.

The government considers these codes important because they provide a framework for creating healthy, environmentally responsive, sustainable and distinctive places, with a consistent and high-quality standard of design.

The government is seeking views on the following areas in relation to the National Model Design Code:

  • The content of the guidance.
  • The application and use of the guidance.
  • The approach to community engagement.

We’d be keen to hear members’ views on these proposed changes. Please contact Will Jeffwitz, Head of Policy, with any feedback by 8 March 2021.