“Vital” changes needed to NPPF, groups claim
The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) requires a number of “vital” improvements in order to be to truly fit for purpose, a number of organisations have said.
In a joint letter penned to the Government, planning professionals, transport authorities, charities and various other groups have said that “significant” changes are needed in order to make way for “high-quality, genuinely sustainable development” in the years ahead.
Specifically, the NPPF needs to offer a “clear criteria” regarding issues such as sustainable transport, the siting of developments and the accessibility of locations.
Furthermore, transport authorities should be involved in the planning process from the very outset and sustainable transport options should be a “key factor” when considering the viability of each planning application, the groups have said.
The calls for change come at a time when concerns have been raised that many objections to planning proposals are typically made due to transport and environmental issues.
In their joint letter, groups such as the Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation (CIHT) have said that the NPPF needs to be much clearer for everyone involved in the planning process in order to deliver “improved outcomes for all”.
The CHIT says that, by amending the NPPF from the very outset and enabling transport authorities and operators to get more involved, residents will have greater access to sustainable transport and development layouts will make greater provisions for the likes of train, bus and cycle links.
The comments follow concerns previously raised by other groups that choices on strategic transport investment should not be made ‘in isolation’.
“We believe that our current planning system needs to change and by improving the integration between planning and transport we can deliver improved outcomes for all”, said Sue Percy, Chief Executive of the CIHT.
“The CIHT has worked with fellow professionals to highlight some key improvements that can be made to the NPPF and the system of planning in England and Wales to create more sustainable and economically prosperous places”, she added.
“For too long, too many homes have been built in the wrong locations with insufficient integrated transport.
“The CIHT believes we can, and must, do better”.