I welcome the publication of the National Planning Policy Framework.
Under plans announced by Greg Clark, Minister for Decentralisation, planning rules have been transformed and simplified into a short 50 page document. Previously the collected rules ran to thousands of pages. The minister also outlined new measures to free up land for housing and business development whilst removing barriers for growth and enabling sustainable development. The document goes on to include a ‘town centre first’ provision which requires councils to primarily promote developing town centre shopping areas – feeding into the Government’s Portas Review to drive growth in our towns and cities.
The new framework also encourages local authorities to support the expansion of electronic communications networks – something which is vitally important for rural Norfolk and ties into the regional campaign for superfast broadband being rolled out across Norfolk.
The planning policy framework is a major step in cutting back red tape in order to create an environment for growth to occur. It is a real revolution, now the planning process will be an enabling process, rather than a costly impediment to development. The key safeguards for the green belt are still retained within these regulations, which will promote business development; helping to unlock the economic potential of our community.