by Ed Dade
Posted on Dec. 21, 2018
Environmental campaign group, Friends of the Earth, have challenged the government's National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) in the High Court, this week.
Friends of the Earth argue that the government has not fully considered the environmental impacts of the new NPPF, which was published in July 2018. Namely, the government has not undertaken a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).
Friends of the Earth's main concern appears to be that the NPPF's approach to energy could have environmental consequences, which have not been assessed. The NPPF places strict rules on wind energy developments, whilst welcoming fracking (shale gas extraction) and not ruling out future coal power stations. The group also has other concerns about the green belt policy, which does not entirely rule out development in the green belt.
If the NPPF were 'quashed' as a result of the legal challenge, it could have significant consequences for England's planning system, including the preparation of Neighbourhood Plans. The 'basic conditions' for neighbourhood planning require Neighbourhood Plans to have regard to national policies.