At a recent meeting of the National Planning Forum Steve Quartermain, DCLG Chief Planner, is reported to have suggested that any local authority with an existing adopted core strategy would have to go through a reassessment process by the Planning Inspectorate for conformity with the NPPF. Those that fail would have to be rewritten and re-examined, after effectively being found unsound.
John Silvester, Spokesperson for POS, told Planning magazine "LPAs will need to ensure that their DPDs are in accordance with the NPPF, once it is in place, prior to them going to examination; it may be they do not need substantial alteration but it would be necessary undertake a 'compliance audit' to avoid any embarrassing discussions with the inspector at examination. I would also say that if a plan is adopted that it cannot subsequently be found to be unsound; but it may be that an early review would be required to make it conform to the new NPPF if it was substantially out of kilter with the new national polices."
Stuart Hylton, POS SE Region Convenor, commented "These comments, if reported correctly, reinforce some of our concerns about aspects of the current "draft" NPPF - in particular, the expectation that local authorities should normally produce just one planning document and the suggestion that proposals on which a plan is silent should be approved. All of these will lead local authorities to conclude that their existing work on core strategies should be abandoned and plan-making re-started from scratch. To do so would produce substantial delay in the plan-making process. If these are the directions in which the Government wants to move, there should at least be sensible transitional arrangements, to ensure that a lot of valuable work is not lost."