It always happens doesn't it - anticipation builds ahead of the big day, and then you're left wondering either "is that all?" or "what happens next?". This is where we are, coming to terms with what the NPPF world actually looks like and wondering how different it will be from what existed before 27 March 2012. Much has been written about some of its details; what's there, what's not and how it differs from the draft version? So I'll keep it short and comment on where I see some of the future areas of debate and key issues.
The first must be around those paragraphs in Annex 1 which set out the proposals for existing local plans. One example is paragraph 214 where we read that a 12 month "grace" period is allowed for post 2004 plans, but presumably only where any conflict with NPPF is, as the paragraph says, no greater than "limited". The weight to be given to emerging plans is also given coverage, but how will this be consistently applied? See our blog post on 2 March on the difficult question of "weight".
A second will surely arise from the importance of viability in the context of delivery. Paragraph 173 makes this clear and refers to the need for "competitive returns to a willing land owner and willing developer". This was not quite the message I took from the examiner's report in the Mayoral CIL. See our blog post on 1 February on this. It will be interesting and, perhaps even critical, to see how this particular point plays out in local plans and in decision-making.
The third point to mention may seem more mundane, but the practicalities of ensuring the success of NPPF should not be underestimated. Yes NPPF is about growth, but it cannot deliver that without action by others. In particular by local authorities who must now, with depleted staffing and other resources, decide how best to take the challenge forward.