The Environmental Audit Committee has launched an inquiry into sustainable
development in the draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), which was published in draft on 25 July 2011.
The Committee produced a report in March on Sustainable Development in the Localism Bill; its Third Report (HC 799). It discussed the need for the Bill to provide a statutory duty to apply the principles of sustainable development in the planning system. The Bill is currently in the Lords. In the meantime, the draft NPPF states that the Framework — setting out the Government’s economic, environmental and social planning policies — articulates ‘the Government’s vision of sustainable development’, to be ‘interpreted and applied locally to meet local aspirations’.
The Communities and Local Government Committee has announced that it will undertake an inquiry into the National Planning Policy Framework, and has called for evidence on particular issues including the way sustainable development is addressed. Our two committees have agreed that the Environmental Audit Committee will examine this particular issue, following up its earlier report, and that evidence received by the CLG Committee on that issue will be shared with the EAC.
The EAC will seek to conclude its brief inquiry in time to inform the CLG Committee’s inquiry. The EAC would welcome, therefore, written submissions on the way sustainable development is dealt with in the NPPF being submitted to the CLG Committee by 9 September 2011.