Catriona Riddell, Convener of the Society's Strategic Planning Topic Forum, has warned that only planning authorities with an up-to-date local plan that has been tested against the NPPF can expect to retain control over residential development in their areas.
Her comments came in the wake of a planning inspector's decision to grant permission for 140 homes in Sevenoaks, Kent. The district council had refused permission for two of the appeal schemes and had failed to determine the other two within the statutory time limit. The inspector acknowledged that the council's core strategy had been adopted in 2011 and that the authority had a five-year housing land supply. But the inspector also noted that the core strategy had been formulated prior to the guidance in the NPPF coming into effect. The inspector's decision letter said that the way in which the allocation for housing in the local area was made "was not up-to-date with the approach now put forward in the NPPF".
Riddell said: "This is a bit of a landmark decision and has implications for all plans that were adopted pre-NPPF, even if they are only a few years old."