Agenda item

Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill: Consultation on draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)


The Committee were presented with the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill:  Consultation on the draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).  The presentation can be viewed via the following link (Public Pack)Levelling-up And Regeneration Bill - Consultation on Draft National Policy Framework - Supplementary Agenda Supplement for Strategic Environment Cabinet Committee, 14/02/2023 19:30 (


The Committee were informed that the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) consultation, would close on 2 March 2023 and had sought the Council’s views with a series of questions.  The Assistant Director (Planning) advised that there would be a further and fuller update of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) once the Levelling up and Regeneration Act was in place. 


Following the presentation, the Committee were invited to ask questions and make comment:


  • The Chair queried if the Council had received clarification on Gravesham’s housing target.  The Assistant Director (Planning) advised that the standard method guidance specified a starting projection of 707 homes per year.


  • The Chair noted that the elements addressed within the consultation had increased clarity and would benefit Gravesham in controlling what developers were permitted to carry out.  Members agreed that the National Planning Policy Framework gave Local Authorities control over development within the borough.


  • Clarification was sought regarding the timescale for the Planning Inspectorate to carry out the work required, in light of the upcoming elections.  The Assistant Director (Planning) informed the Committee that the Planning Inspectorate had experienced issues for a while, with the number of inspectors available to carry out Local Plan examinations, with many retiring and recruitment issues.  The Assistant Director (Planning) alluded that a number of local authorities had stopped plan production, as a result of the announcement, as wanted to know the national policy context. 


  • The Assistant Director (Planning) advised she was unsure how long the Government had to consider Gravesham’s comments from the consultation as there was a clear desire for the revised NPPF to be in place in Spring 2023.  Some of the changes required legislative changes so that  would take time.  The Assistant Director (Planning) advised Members that when drafting a response to Government, she would raise the concern related to capacity within the Planning Inspectorate to deal with the proposed new plan-making system


  • Concern was raised on how the National Planning Policy Framework would impact on the work already carried on the Local Plan.  The Assistant Director (Planning) informed members that the National Planning Policy Framework was a material consideration for planning decisions and for plan-making there is the need for the emerging plan to be consistency with the NPPF and she believed that these revisions clarified areas of uncertainty.  The Committee were advised that the Local Plan was adopted in 2014 and reviewed in 2019.  The emerging plan will be updated to reflect the revised evidence base and the national planning policy framework in place.  The Assistant Director (Planning) informed Members that the plan would be brought to Full Council for approval for the pre-submission consultation stage and this was anticipated to be late 2023.


The Chair concluded and noted the importance of an update due to the ever-changing guidance presented.


The Committee noted the presentation.


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