We are aware that many of you are already contributing to the National Planning Policy Framework and National Model Design Code: consultation proposals, but if you were not aware that this opportunity existed, we wish to bring it to your attention.

Full details together with downloads of the necessary documents can be found via the gov.uk website: National Planning Policy Framework and National Model Design Code: consultation proposals - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The consultation seeks views on draft revisions to the National Planning Policy Framework where text has been revised to implement policy changes in response to the Building Better Building Beautiful Commission “Living with Beauty” report. Track changes have been used so it’s easy to see the suggested amendments being sought.

There is a new focus on beauty and sustainability and as an example of this approach, our familiar and well used ‘Section 8: Promoting healthy and safe communities’, has been slightly adapted by introducing the word “attractive”, and adding “cycle routes” to the ongoing desire to achieve safe and accessible places. It may be of concern to some that with funds derived from the current Safer Streets Initiative that many routes created in the past are today being closed due to high levels of abandonment by the law abiding and their adoption by the antisocial. Therefore we would suggest, that designs of future connections must be clearly defined, be in accordance with CPTED principles and serve the majority of the community and not a small selection of it.

We support the desire to create places of beauty, but feel strongly that if insufficient attention is given to the topic of crime and its effects, that true beauty and indeed sustainability, will be hard to find.

A number of other changes to the text of the Framework are also set out and explained, but there isn’t a review of the National Planning Policy Framework in its entirety at this stage. We’re told a fuller review of the Framework is likely to be required in due course, depending on the implementation of the government’s proposals for wider reform of the planning system.

The consultation also seeks views on the draft National Model Design Code, which provides detailed guidance on the production of design codes, guides and policies to promote successful design.

We encourage all DOCOs to read the above mentioned documents and provide a response. Not all questions set need an answer, and you can contribute just to where you feel there is a need. The closing date for submissions is fast approaching; 27th March 2021, and is on-line: National Planning Policy Framework and National Model Design Code: Consultation proposals - Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government Citizen Space - Citizen Space