The National Planning Policy Framework

The following Planning practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The National Planning Policy Framework
  • Versions of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)
  • Online planning practice guidance
  • The presumption in favour of sustainable development
  • Presumption in favour of sustainable development in the 2012 NPPF
  • Presumption in favour of sustainable development in the 2019 NPPF
  • Core planning principles
  • Achieving sustainable development
  • Plan-making
  • Strategic policies
  • More...

The National Planning Policy Framework

STOP PRESS: This Practice Note is being reviewed in light of the new NPPF published on 20 July 2021.

Versions of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

The original version of the NPPF came into force in England on 27 March 2012 (the 2012 NPPF), replacing all Planning Policy Statements and Planning Policy Guidance Notes (with the exception of PPS10 (Planning for Sustainable Waste Management, which was subsequently superceded by the National planning policy for waste)) with immediate effect. It aimed to make the planning system less complex and more accessible, to protect the environment and to promote sustainable growth. Archived Practice Note: The 2012 National Planning Policy Framework [Archived] provides an overview of the main policies of the 2012 NPPF.

On 24 July 2018, the government published a revised version of the NPPF (the 2018 NPPF) which replaced the 2012 NPPF from 24 July 2018 onwards. However, in publishing the 2018 NPPF, the government recognised that further changes to the NPPF might be needed. On 19 February 2019, it published a further revised draft of the NPPF (the 2019 NPPF).

Transitional provisions in Annex 1 of the 2018 NPPF and 2019 NPPF provide that:

  1. the policies in the 2018 NPPF and 2019 NPPF should be taken into account as material considerations in the determination of planning applications from their day of publication

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