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Leicestershire council to revise core strategy over NPPF concerns

Posted on by PlanRight

Harorough District Council adopted its core strategy, which maps out the amount and type of housing and development in the area to 2028, back in November 2011.

However, councillors voted at a full council meeting earlier this week to prepare a new document, to be known as the local plan, which it said would bring the local planning framework in line with national policy and “protect against developers building more homes over the next 20 years than the district actually requires”.

A report presented to the meeting said the new plan would “provide a robust, defensible and up-to-date policy framework to guide future development within the district”.
The report said: “There are a number of core strategy policies which are not fully compliant with the NPPF. This is significant because the NPPF explains that for 12 months from its publication, planning applications may still be decided on the basis of local planning policies (in Harborough’s case the core strategy and saved local plan policies), even if those policies are not fully compliant with the NPPF.

“However, from March 2013, much less significance is placed on local planning policies if they are not fully compliant with the NPPF. This effectively reduces the council’s ability to determine planning applications in accordance with our local circumstances and local policies. After March 2013, full weight can only be given to local planning policies if they are fully compliant with the NPPF. This undermines the strength of individual policies within the core strategy and the strategy as a whole”.
The report said the “most critical issue” related to housing requirements. It said that a number of recent appeals in the area had referred to a sub-regional housing requirements study undertaken by consultancy GL Hearn. The report said this study “clearly demonstrated a higher need than that currently being planned for by the core strategy. This significantly undermines the strength of the core strategy and its robustness at appeal”.

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As part of the review, the council will now commission a local housing requirements study.

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