Ongoing efforts to untangle the confusing web of planning guidance have resulted in the launch of DCLG’s prototype National Planning Practice Guidance website this week. The site, which is being tested for the next six weeks before much of the existing planning guidance is scrapped, follows recommendations contained in a review of planning guidance by Lord Taylor last year. DCLG has asked for comments on both the site and its new draft guidance.

According to DCLG, the new draft guidance includes:

• An affordability test to determine the number of new homes to be built in an area

• Measures to allow planning appeal hearings to be filmed

• Motorist-friendly steps to discourage excessive residential car parking charges and promote town centre parking

• Initiatives to build more homes suitable for the elderly

• Promotion of community involvement in neighbourhood planning

• Protection for local green space from development.

The website will be seen as a helpful step in the right direction by many, although it will be necessary to reserve judgment about how useful it is until the final version goes live later this year.

Link to National Planning Practise Guidance website: