National Planning Policy Guidance verdict: 'mixed bag'
Published by Nneka Opara for TCPA in Central Government and also in Communities, Environment, Housing, Local Government
Leading housing and planning charity, the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA), has responded to the final version of the National Planning Policy Guidance (NPPG) with a verdict of ‘mixed bag’; with a welcome emphasis on health and climate change, but lacking on garden city principles and equality. The NPPG is designed to accompany the overarching policy framework for England, the National Planning Policy Framework.
Dr Hugh Ellis, TCPA Head of Policy said:
“The TCPA recognises the importance of the government’s publication of the final version of national planning policy guidance to complement the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The TCPA is particularly pleased to see a new section on health and planning which identifies the key role of spatial planning on people’s health and wellbeing. The Association has been championing reuniting the public health and planning movement for the last few years, working closely with local authorities and health providers. The new guidance also places a welcome emphasis on the need to consider the objectives of the Climate Change Act in planning decisions.
However, the TCPA had campaigned hard for further guidance on the creation of large scale new communities along garden city principles to ensure we deliver the sustainable, inclusive and beautiful places of the future; but while the NPPF advocates garden city principles, there remains no high level guidance from government on how the principles would be delivered. The guidance contrasts between an emphasis on processes, such as the duty to cooperate, and the absence of guidance for outcomes, such as those on garden city principles.
The TCPA also remains concerned that despite our powerful research on the relationship between planning and poverty that argued for the rediscovery of social justice and equality in planning practice, that the NPPG contains no content on the broad issues of equalities. This is despite the fact, for example, that important guidance on access and design has been cancelled.”