Win for local communities as NDMP scrutiny amendment is passed in the Lords
In a huge step forward for local communities, the House of Lords on Monday voted through an amendment that ensures both the public and parliament have a say on any new national planning policy created by the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill (LURB).
This new type of national planning policy – National Development Management Policies (NDMPs) – has caused major concerns since its introduction. Left unchecked, NDMPs represented a possible threat to local democracy (which you can read about in our explainer). This centralisation of power had the potential to strip local communities of their say on major planning issues that affect all of us, from housing and wildlife to the Green Belt.
Thanks to the support and pressure of thousands of CPRE members and supporters, a new amendment in the LURB has been passed which includes public and parliamentary scrutiny in the process of creating any new NDMPs. This means local communities as well as politicians will be able to have their say and challenge top-down decisions.
When the Levelling Up Bill returns to the Commons in October, there will be a chance to ensure this scrutiny amendment becomes part of the final legislation. However, for now, CPRE considers this to be a significant step forward.
In addition to the scrutiny amendment, the Better Planning Coalition, which CPRE is a part of, has had other amendments of huge importance to the countryside successfully voted through in the Lords this week. These include:
- An amendment to ensure that all new homes support the health of their residents.
- An amendment requiring ‘for sufficient social rent housing’ in every local area.
- An amendment that ensures planning decision-takers (from the Secretary of State to a local planning committee) have special regard to the UK’s legally binding net-zero emissions target.
Together this is a huge set of wins for many of the issues that deeply affect the countryside and those living within it – from social housing and local democracy to the climate emergency.
More amendments are to be voted on next week, including on the government’s damaging plan to scrap measures that ensure water pollution from new housing is offset by developers.