NPPF Prospectus: Transitional Arrangements & Implications
Updated: Nov 3
In December 2022 the Government announced proposed reforms to the planning system which will impact on plan-making. This included amendments to the LURB announced on 6 December which will introduce a reformed planning system, and the publication of the NPPF Prospectus on 22 December 2022 which sets out proposed reforms to the current NPPF which, subject to the outcome of consultation, will be implemented in Spring 2023.
This blog simplifies the transitional arrangements for the proposed revisions to the NPPF and for the new plan-making system as published in the NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework) Prospectus (see here). To achieve this, this blog analyses a number of scenarios and their implications to plan-making, accompanied by timelines.
This is intended to assist local planning authorities and stakeholders in plan making to understand the proposed arrangements and consider the potential implications. It is also intended to assist those seeking to understand the proposed arrangements and respond to the consultation which will close on 2 March 2023.
For the purpose of this blog “out-of-date” means more than 5 years old.
Key points and findings from this blog include:
A lack of short-term incentives for adoption of local plans currently in early stages of production when compared to advanced plans.
Both meeting the new deadline for adoption of June 2025 and not meeting the new deadline present risks to LPAs in early stages of plan-making.
Meeting the June 2025 deadline is the preferred approach of the Government and the optimal scenario given the incentives and flexibility afforded.
A lack of flexibility and clarity around the “up-to-date” period of five years and commencement of preparation for new-style plans.
Scenario A – Plans up-to-date in November 2024
Applies to LPAs with an up-to-date local plan in November 2024.
Production of new-style plans under the new system will commence after 5 years of the date their local plan was adopted at the latest. They will have 30 months to produce a plan from when they start (see Figures 1 and 2 below).
Scenario B – Advanced stage plans
Applies to authorities currently working on advanced stages of plan under current system – I.e. post Reg 18 consultation with policies maps and site allocations.
Current plans will need submitted for examination by June 2025, with examination and adoption complete by end of December 2026.
Work on new-style plan will need to start within 5 years of adoption, so latest January 2032 with 30 months from that date to complete i.e., by June 2034 (see Figure 3 below).
Scenario C – Early stage plans
Applies to plans currently in earlier stages (pre-Reg 18) or beginning plan making in the current system, which are aiming to meet the new deadline for submission of June 2025 and examination and adoption by December 2026.
Assuming this deadline is met, then work on new plan will need to start within 5 years of adoption, so latest January 2032 with 30 months from that date to complete i.e., by June 2034 (see Figure 3 above).
If the deadline is missed, new style plan preparation will need to begin immediately – i.e. July 2025 (see Figure 4 below).
Scenario D - Waiting for the new system
Applies to LPAs with an out-of-date plan at November 2024, unable or unwilling to produce a plan under the existing system for submission by June 2025.
If there is no ‘proactive preparation’ of a local plan for the June 2025 deadline, new style plan preparation will need to commence immediately – i.e. November 2024 (see Figure 5 below).
How we can help
DAC Planning provides specialist support in plan-making. We have extensive experience in all aspects of plan production including: evidence base production; policy drafting and testing; spatial strategy development; strategic planning and meeting the Duty to Cooperate; independent examination; and project management. We provide direct support, advice and training to local authorities and others involved in plan-making to secure high quality outcomes.
For a discussion on how we can assist you, please get in touch with the team:
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This information is for general informative purposes only. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy, DAC Planning accepts no liability whatsoever for any direct or consequential loss arising from its use.