With a politically "interesting" year ahead, here are a few of our predictions for what might be in the offing for us in the planning world for the year ahead (well up to May 2015 anyway!).

  1. Given the recommendation of the select committee in their report on the operation of NPPF, and the difficult question of "what is sustainable development"?, CLG issues clarification which does little more than take us back to NPPF paras 2 and6.
  2. The April 2015 "deadline" in terms of pooling s.106 obligations is pushed back and wrapped up into the promised review of CIL.
  3. The promised review of CIL makes a sufficient start before May 2015 to give us something to talk about.
  4. A1/A2 to C3 PD rights are removed.
  5. NPPF footnote 11 (in para 47) is "softened" through NPPG in order to assist LPAs with a lot of supply wrapped up in large scale sites which will take many years to build out.
  6. The potential for splitting large scale retail/ leisure developments into smaller components (disaggregation) for the purposes of sequential assessment is reintroduced via a change in NPPG.
  7. Resources for local plan making are made available for bidding by groups of LPAs with strong "duty to cooperate" credentials, and for individual LPAs who can make a case as to how the funding will make it possible for them to bring forward a local plan in a much shorter timescale.