The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) was published on 27 March 2012, replacing all the previous Planning Policy Statements, including PPS 5, as well as various other planning guidance.
Its central theme is the ‘presumption in favour of sustainable development’, set out in twelve core land-use planning principles which underpin both plan-making and decision-taking.
Although matters relevant to the historic environment are scattered throughout these principles - particularly design, urban and countryside policies - it is the section on Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment which supersedes PPS 5, whilst following that document’s significance-led approach to decision-taking.
English Heritage has produced two comparison documents for ease of reference; one compares the NPPF historic environment policies to those in PPS 5, and the other gives information on additional policies in the NPPF not mentioned in PPS 5.
A series of training courses about the implications of the NPPF on the historic environment are currently under development. We are holding a series of sessions in the coming months to discuss English Heritage's interpretation of the NPPF. A multi-part video briefing on the NPPF is now available.
The Practice Guide remains a valid and Government endorsed document pending Government's review of guidance supporting national planning policy as set out in its response to the select committee report.
The references in the document to PPS 5 policies are obviously now redundant, but the policies in the NPPF are very similar and the intent is the same, so the Practice Guide remains almost entirely relevant and useful in the application of the NPPF.
English Heritage wants to support local planning authorities to achieve sound local plans which conform to the NPPF, taking the historic environment fully into account. In the document below, we have set out what we believe is needed to fully implement NPPF historic environment policy in plan-making.