English Heritage thinks that the draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) has been largely successful in concentrating planning policy into a single short document. We welcome the Government's assertion that it does not intend to reduce protection for the historic environment.
We are concerned that as drafted, parts of the NPPF could unintentionally result in a reduction in heritage protection. For example, we are concerned that there is no policy to help decision-makers deal with proposals where there is moderate or minor harm to designated heritage assets such as listed buildings. We are also concerned that as drafted the presumption in favour of sustainable development unintentionally and unnecessarily conflicts with the policies for heritage protection. English Heritage is therefore talking to Government about changes to the NPPF that would maintain current levels of protection while meeting the Government's objectives of simplifying planning policy and giving greater local control.
We are currently working on our detailed response which we will submit to the Government's consultation and will publish on our website before the end of the consultation period.