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National Planning Policy Framework and National Model Design Code

Objectives of the consultation

This consultation sought views on draft revisions to the National Planning Policy Framework, which

  • Implement policy changes in response to the Building Better Building Beautiful Commission recommendations;
  • Strengthen environmental policies – including those arising from the review of flood risk;
  • Clarify policy in order to address legal issues;
  • Remove or amend out of date material;
  • Reflect a recent change made in a Written Ministerial Statement about retaining and explaining statues;
  • Clarify the use of Article 4 directions.

A fuller review of the Framework is likely to be required in due course to reflect wider reforms set out in the Planning for the Future consultation, subject to decisions on how they are to be taken forward.

This consultation also sought views on the draft National Model Design Code, its application in practice and the model processes it set out. 

The consultation closed on 27 March 2021.

Supporting papers

To download documents that supported this consultation, follow the links below.

CIBSE response

CIBSE submitted a response to this consultation making the following suggestions:

  • ​The NPPF and National Model Design Code must make it explicit that the planning system must contribute to meeting the UK’s Net Zero Carbon legal target and, not just “mitigating” greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The NPPF and National Model Design Code must make it clear that works to existing buildings, which are subject to planning applications, should also contribute to the Net Zero challenge. 
  • The National Model Design Code should acknowledge a much more comprehensive definition of green infrastructure and should make it clear that green infrastructure should be assessed and planned in view of its multiple functional services.
  • MHCLG should provide more guidance on how the Design Codes and new Approved document on overheating will work together.
  • The National Model Design Code must include guidance on noise, particularly in relation to residential and other sensitive sites where noise can cause health issues and increase reliance on mechanical plant.
  • Under recent developments, an increasing amount of works falls outside planning requirements, through Permitted Development Rights. This goes against quality, environmental and health objectives and must be revisited.
  • Under the proposed overhauled system of NPPF and design codes, it is unclear how planning at the strategic local authority and regional scale will occur and what guidance and requirements will need to be followed. This strategic planning must happen for the effective delivery of zero carbon energy infrastructure, and green infrastructure.
  • As plan-making, decision-making, implementation and monitoring will rely on Local Authority resources, which have been under constant and significant strain for several years, the Government should provide more adequate support to Local Authorities to ensure planning objectives are delivered consistently and without undue delays in the planning process. 

To read the full CIBSE response, follow the link below.

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