In February, we wrote about the government’s consultation on proposed revisions to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the National Model Design Code (NMDC), raising concerns which were echoed by many others about the incorporation into national planning policy and guidance of a requirement for development to be “beautiful”. Last week, the government published its response to the consultation, and formally published the Revised NPPF and the NMDC on 20 July 2021.

The differences between the consultation draft of the revised NPPF and the published final version are minimal, taking into account none of the objections made by those concerned about the subjective nature of “beauty” and the lack of a definition of “beautiful”. Indeed, one of the few changes made post-consultation was to the re-numbered paragraph 106(d), changing “high quality” walking and cycling networks to “attractive and well-designed” ones instead, which begs the question whether attractiveness should override quality when it comes to highway safety.

Whatever the rights or wrongs of the changes, the newly revised NPPF and NMDC are now material considerations to be taken into account for development plan and planning control purposes.

For further information please contact:

Fiona Sawyer
Fiona Sawyer
Professional support lawyer, planning, London
+44 20 7466 2674
Matthew White
Matthew White
Partner and head of UK planning practice, London
+44 20 7466 2461