National Planning Policy

The Government is continually reviewing the Planning System to ensure that it is responsive to the development needs of the country, such as the need to build more new homes, rather than potentially acting as a barrier.

This page provides information on the national context of planning policy, including the Localism Act (2011) and the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), along with a record of the Council’s responses to any recent national planning policy consultations.

The Localism Act

The aim of the Localism Act (2011) gives some planning rights and powers back to local authorities and local communities to give people at the local level the freedom and flexibility to achieve their own ambitions and aspirations for their area.

A plain English guide to the Localism Act (PDF) can be found on the Communities and Local Government website.

National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) (PDF) was a key part of Government reforms to make the planning system less complex and more accessible, to protect the environment and to promote sustainable growth.

The key aim of the NPPF is the 'presumption in favour of sustainable development'. This means that development should not be prevented, provided that it is sustainable and does not affect vital local environmental protections.

The Government believes that sustainable development can play three critical roles in England:

  1. An economic role - in contributing to a strong, responsive, competitive economy.
  2. A social role - in supporting vibrant and healthy communities.
  3. An environmental role - protecting and enhancing our natural, built and historic environment.

The 12 core planning principles within the NPPF are:

  1. Plan led - empowering local communities.
  2. Creatively find ways to enhance and improve places where people live.
  3. Support economic development - objectively identify and meet development needs.
  4. Secure high quality design.
  5. Promote vitality of urban areas, protect greenbelt, recognise special character and beauty of country side and support thriving rural communities.
  6. Support the transition to a low-carbon future.
  7. Conserve and enhance the natural environment.
  8. Encourage the re-use of previously developed land.
  9. Promote mixed use developments.
  10. Conserve heritage assets "in a manner appropriate to their significance".
  11. Manage patterns of growth to make full use of public transport, walking and cycling.
  12. Take account of local strategies to improve health, social, and cultural well being.

The NPPF makes it clear that local authorities should to have in place an up to date development plan, or Local Plan, for their area. Bradford Council is currently preparing a Local Plan for the Bradford District in line with the requirements of the NPPF. 

Planning Practice Guidance which supplements the NPPF is also available.

Bradford Council's Response to Government Planning Consultations

Following the publication of the Housing White Paper in February 2017, the Government have consulted on specific proposals to boost housing delivery. DCLG published 'Planning for the right homes in the right places' for consultation between September and November 2017 and sets out a range of proposals and changes to boost housing. The Council have made a formal representation which can be view below:

National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) Update Consultation

The Government published a revised NPPF in order to implement their planning reform package, following the Housing White paper in March 2018. Their aim is to publish a final revised Framework in the summer.

Consultation on this Framework ran from 5 March to 10 May 2018. The consultation draft can be viewed on the GOV.UK website (PDF).

The Council have made a formal representation to the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government which can be viewed below: