The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) was published on 27 March 2012 and sets out the Government’s planning policies for England and how these are expected to be applied. The NPPF is supported by National Planning Practice Guidance which adds further context.
The NPPF provides a framework within which local people and local planning authorities can produce their own distinctive local and neighbourhood plans, which reflect the needs and priorities of their communities.
It must be taken into account in the preparation of local and neighbourhood plans, and is a material consideration in planning decisions.
The NPPF states that every local planning authority in England should have a clear, up to date Local Plan, which conforms to the framework, meets local development needs, and reflects local people’s views of how they wish their community to develop.
At the heart of the NPPF is the presumption in favour of sustainable development. The NPPF explicitly states that purpose of the planning system is to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development. The policies in paragraphs 18 to 219 of the NPPF, taken as a whole, constitute the Government’s view of what sustainable development in England means in practice for the planning system.
Planning Aid England have produced this briefing note which explains in further detail the role of the National Planning Practice Framework.