The Draft Revisions to the NPPF in Under 90 Seconds

On Saturday morning (30/01/2021), MHCLG released an open consultation on some proposed revisions to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) as well as a new draft National Model Design Code.

Here are the key proposals:

  • The first thing to note is that these changes are made in connection with the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission’s ‘Living with Beauty’ report;
  • The United Nation’s 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development get a mention;
  • The presumption in favour of sustainable development changes in relation to plan making at paragraph 11(a). The new wording requires plans to meet development needs; align growth and infrastructure; improvement the environment; mitigate and adapt to climate change (including making best use of land in urban areas).
  • Article 4 Directions are to get a little bit more refined and limited – presumably because of concern LPA’s might use them to circumvent new PD changes;
  • The National Model Design Code (current Draft) is specifically mentioned. This will sit alongside the National Design Guide, and makes clear MHCLG’s design ambitions. This document will also inform the production of local Design Codes, though applicants will also be able to produce design codes for sites they propose to bring forward;
  • New streets will need to be tree lined;
  • The Flood Risk Vulnerability Classification is set to be moved from separate guidance into an annex of the Framework;
  • Developments in the setting of the AONB, National Parks or the Broads should be sensitively located and designed to avoid adverse impacts – this explicit mention is new;
  • In response to ‘statue-gate’ and a subsequent WMS, the NPPF will encourage LPAs to have regard for the importance of retaining them (as well as plaques and memorials) and explaining their historic context, as opposed to removing them

As already mentioned, the new draft Design Code is also under consultation, a highly visual document. Both documents can be found here:

National Planning Policy Framework and National Model Design Code: consultation proposals - GOV.UK (

The consultation ends on 27th March 2021 at 11:45pm.

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