The House of Commons Communities and Local Government Committee has been invited by the Minister for Planning and Decentralisation to examine the draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), which was published on Monday 25 July.
The committee is pleased to accept this invitation and intends to hold oral evidence sessions on the Framework in October and November. The purpose of the committee's inquiry will be to ensure that the document forms an adequate, clear and comprehensive framework of national planning policy.
The committee does not expect to examine in detail the policies on individual areas of planning policy set out in the document, although it may return to specific areas of planning policy in later inquiries.
The committee would therefore welcome comments from interested parties on the following questions:
- Does the NPPF give sufficient guidance to local planning authorities, the Planning Inspectorate and others, including investors and developers, while at the same time giving local communities sufficient power over planning decisions?
- Is the definition of 'sustainable development' contained in the document appropriate; and is the presumption in favour of sustainable development a balanced and workable approach?
- Are the 'core planning principles' clearly and appropriately expressed?
- Is the relationship between the NPPF and other national statements of planning-related policy sufficiently clear? Does the NPPF serve to integrate national planning policy across Government Departments?
- Does the NPPF, together with the 'duty to cooperate', provide a sufficient basis for larger-than-local strategic planning?
- Are the policies contained in the NPPF sufficiently evidence-based?
Witnesses may also like to offer a brief general assessment of the fitness for purpose of the draft Framework as a whole.
Please do not send the committee copies of responses to the Government's consultation. The committee will have access to all non-confidential responses to that consultation, should it wish to see them. Responses to the committee should specifically address some or all of the questions set out above.
Memoranda addressing any or all of these issues, in accordance with the guidelines set out below, are invited by Friday 9 September 2011.
Interested parties may wish to note that the Environmental Audit Committee will be carrying out its own brief inquiry into the presumption in favour of sustainable development contained in the draft Framework, following its report on that subject earlier this year. Submissions to either inquiry should be sent to the CLG Committee rather than to the Environmental Audit Committee. The CLG Committee will make these submissions available to the Environmental Audit Committee, and the results of the EAC's inquiry will feed into the CLG Committee's eventual report.
Each submission should:
- be no more than 4,000 words in length
- begin with a short summary in bullet point form
- be in Word format (no later than 2007) with as little use of colour or logos as possible
- be accompanied by a covering letter containing the name and contact details of the individual or organisation submitting evidence
A copy of the submission should be sent by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and marked "regeneration".
It is helpful, for Data Protection purposes, for contact details not to be included in the text of submissions, but sent separately in a covering letter. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.