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Government must focus on delivering sustainable communities, not just housebuilding ADEPT’s response to the NPPF consultation

10 May 2018

The Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning & Transport (ADEPT) has expressed concern that Government is losing sight of a strategic approach to planning.

ADEPT has outlined its concerns in its responses (here and here) to two important Government consultations: the Draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and National Planning Guidance (NPG) and Supporting Housing Delivery Through Developer Contributions.

The policies resulting from these consultations will guide and direct the future of the planning system in England.

The Association has expressed unease that the government’s focus in the NPPF is on housing delivery, at the expense of what should be the main concern of effective, modern planning.

ADEPT wants to see the NPPF enabling the provision of high quality sustainable communities of the future that provide for growth. To achieve this, housing development must have the necessary infrastructure in place and protect what is important in the historic and natural environment. In short, to provide places that people want to live in and visit.

Peter Geraghty, Chair of ADEPT’s Housing, Planning and Regeneration Board said: “ADEPT fully supports the government’s aspiration to deliver housing. But, fundamentally, the best way to achieve this is to take a strategic approach to planning and infrastructure that is also sustainable. We must get the balance right between social, economic and environmental objectives to create vibrant places for all.

“Viability is a vital. There must be transparency about the viability of development, and the issues of land value capture have to be addressed. It is not just about the costs of delivering housing, but also, the burden on local authority budgets of housing developments once built. The outcomes of poor place-making persist for decades, perhaps even generations, and both the physical and social infrastructure need to be in place to create cities, towns and places that are valued and respected by our communities. The new NPPF must support this aspiration.”

Neil Gibson President of ADEPT said: “ADEPT members deliver projects and initiatives that unlock broader economic success, creating more resilient communities, economies and infrastructure. We are at the heart of maximising sustainable growth in communities throughout the UK.

“We want to work with Government to take forward these issues and explore how to achieve our shared aspiration of providing the sustainable homes and places our communities need.”