The presumption in favour of sustainable development is at the heart of the NPPF. The revised changes for decision making are in bold below

For decision-taking this means: 

c) approving development proposals that accord with an up-to-date development plan without delay; or 

d)  where there are no relevant development plan policies, or the policies which are most important for determining the application are out-of-date,  granting permission  unless: 

  • the application of policies in this Framework that protect areas or assets of particular importance provides a clear reason for refusing the development proposed; or 
  • any adverse impacts of doing so would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits, when assessed against the policies in this Framework taken as a whole. 

This represents a widening and clarification of the matters that must be considered by Local Planning Authorities (LPA). It reflects the case law handed down by Judges on the NPPF.  

 The use of "refusing  above is new and replaces restricting, which will again facilitate the delivery of development and restrict LPAs when determining applications.  

The consultation closes on Thursday 10 May 2018, with the NPPF being adopted in the summer.