The government recently published the draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) for consultation. The government argues that the draft NPPF is a key part of the reforms 'to make the planning system less complex and more accessible, and to promote sustainable growth'. The government has also provided an opportunity to respond to the details of the draft through written consultation. Members of the Department of Planning and OISD have therefore decided to respond to this consultation because of the important implications the draft carries for the future of planning in this country.
It is clear that the NPPF has created a media storm, but the team who responded to this consultation all feel passionately that, as planners and property specialists, they have a duty to provide an independent critique of the draft NPPF. This is not only because of their involvement in education and research, and the implications the NPPF has for those sectors, but also because the team wanted to provide a focused and unbiased review of how the draft NPPF could, and should, be improved to produce a clearer and unambiguous framework.
Dr Tim Marshall and Professor Tim Dixon commented: "As academics we are not convinced that a coherent case for the present planning reforms, including the NPPF draft, has been made, using good evidence. The draft fails to start from an understanding of the fundamental benefits that planning has brought to many and varied interests over decades. The risk is that the basic unbalancing of the planning system which this draft would generate will reduce these benefits significantly. The response brings out perceived weaknesses in the current draft, and in several areas, suggests scope for major revisions and improvements. We hope our constructively critical comments help shape a revised framework."
The members of staff at Oxford Brookes University who participated in the consultation and contributed to the response are:
Dr Sue Brownill, Department of Planning
Professor Tim Dixon, Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development
Dr Tim Marshall, Department of Planning
Dr Dave Valler, Department of Planning
Dr Joe Weston, Department of Planning
Elizabeth Wilson, Department of Planning
For further information about the response to the consultation please contact either: Professor Tim Dixon, Director of OISD (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Dr Tim Marshall, Reader in Planning, Department of Planning (email@example.com).
Note: This response is by individual academic staff working in planning and real estate at Oxford Brookes University, and does not represent an official view of the Department of Planning, Department of Real Estate & Construction, Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development (OISD), Faculty of Technology Design and Environment, or the University as a whole.
News Item Dated:
14 October 2011