Revised National Planning Policy Framework Published

The Government has published the revised National Planning Policy Framework on 20 July 2021 which replaces the February 2019 version.

Whilst the bulk of the document remains unchanged, it is evident that there is a greater focus on climate change and design matters. One such change is to Paragraph 11(a), which has been updated with additional requirements such as the need to align growth and infrastructure; improve the environment, mitigate climate change and adapt to its effects.

Chapter 12 has also been updated to include additional design considerations, putting an onus on local authorities or developers to prepare their own design guides or codes, based on community engagement and local aspirations. New guidance is provided relating to trees- seeking to maximise planting, including of tree-lined streets and ensuring that ‘the right trees are planted in the right places.’ (para. 131)

The updated document includes a number of other key changes including a requirement for new settlements and urban extensions to be set within a 30+ year vision (para 22) and the need to resolve public service infrastructure issues prior to planning applications being submitted (para 96). Paragraph 53 provides additional guidance relating to Article 4 Directions, whilst paragraph 198 specifically refers to [controversial] historic statues and monuments and suggests that they are retained with a clear explanation of their historic and social context.

If you have any questions about the updates, please get in touch at