Why are they standing around in the shape of giant letters? Don’t these people have homes to go to?

England: You will see a lot of headlines similar to this throughout the week. It is of course the usual scaremongering tactics from the likes of the Daily Telegraph and the Campaign to Protect “Rural” England cashing in on the one year anniversary of the publication of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) on Thursday. This marks the end of the so called “transitional period” and the usual culprits are trying to claim that as a result yet again vast swathes of our countryside will disappear under new places for people to live in (and thus in the case of the CPRE you should give them a pile of cash – I’m sorry their “Emergency Appeal” is shameless). You should be able to predict my advice on this already. Landowners, don’t get excited. Those people who would rather house horses than humans, don’t panic (and don’t waste your time and money on the CPRE either, engage with your local planning process instead if you want to do something).

The one year transitional period is all about the weight which can be given to pre-NPPF Local Plan policies which now conflict with the NPPF. In the transitional period full weight could be given to such local policies despite the conflict – as of Friday this will not be the case. If there is a conflict the NPPF will carry greater weight. As the NPPF has not shifted national policy by a huge amount the occurrence of such conflict is rare and will mostly be restricted to issues of housing supply. But as before Local Authorities who have not been able to get a five year supply plus contingency together will be vulnerable to having the odd site approved against their will to bring the numbers up to scratch.

For heavens sake please don’t call us to ask if that woefully inappropriate development in the middle of nowhere will get now suddenly get approval…

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