G15 statement on revised National Planning Policy Framework

  • 26 July 2018

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government published a revised National Planning Policy Framework on 24 July 2018 following a consultation concluding in May. It sets out the government’s planning policies for England and how these are expected to be applied.

Commenting on the Framework, Paul Hackett, chair of the G15 and chief executive of Optivo, said:

“Much has changed in the six years since the first NPPF, with the housing crisis of availability, affordability and quality becoming ever more acute. We therefore welcome the Government’s renewed focus on house prices and design standards, alongside a desire to tackle the housing shortage at pace and scale.

“Whether it’s through encouraging councils to help deliver estate regeneration, a new focus on minimum densities, or redeveloping under-utilised spaces such as car parks and other brownfield sites close to transport links, we need to balance this with a focus on delivering well-designed homes that local people can afford.

“It’s reassuring to see social rent included in the definition of affordable housing – something that had been missing from the earlier draft. We also support adjustments to green belt protections, which will allow us to deliver affordable housing on appropriate brownfield sites in the green belt.

“But the new NPPF is just one part of the jigsaw of fixing the affordability crisis. Another crucial part of the puzzle is the long-awaited Social Housing Green Paper. We’ve been anticipating this for the past year, and we stress the need to promote greater delivery of genuinely affordable homes, and to tackle the stigmatisation of social housing tenants and give them a louder voice. And ultimately some of this can only happen if we have commitments to better funding for affordable housing. Planning alone won’t solve the funding gap housing associations deal with every day.

“A year on from the Grenfell Tower tragedy, these issues are more pertinent than ever.”