National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

I understand and share your concerns regarding planning policy. That is why I welcome that the proposed revisions to the NPPF, which the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has publicly "welcomed", address these concerns.

I am pleased that the revised NPPF gives further clarification to the existing strong protections for the Green Belt. It sets out the steps which a local planning authority must take before concluding that "exceptional circumstances" exist to allow boundaries of the Green Belt to be altered. Furthermore, I am pleased that the revised NPPF reaffirms protections for areas of outstanding national beauty and national parks.

The draft NPPF will also introduce a new standardised approach to assessing housing need which help to ensure that new homes are delivered in areas of high demand. I am also pleased that the revised NPPF sets out the need to prioritise the use of brownfield land and the importance of delivering more affordable housing. Furthermore, like the CPRE, I welcome that the draft NPPF "clarifies the primacy of local and neighbourhood plan policies in determining planning applications".

I am confident that the reforms to planning outlined in the draft NPPF will help address the housing crisis, building on the progress which the Government has already made, including delivering more than 1.1 million homes since 2010.

It should also be noted that, some areas such as St Annes and Warton have put a Neighbourhood Plan in place. This is designed to give local authorities more control over how and where new homes are built in order to meet residents’ needs.