By Daniel Hunter

The property industry has welcomed the increase in Local Authorities that have produced a Local Plan, the document which sets out where development can happen, and warned against any further delays in implementing the Government’s planning reforms.

With the 27th March deadline for Local Authorities to have produced a Local Plan in accordance with the National Planning Policy Framework approaching, the British Property Federation welcomed statistics showing the NPPF is finally spurring Local Authorities into action.

Figures show that 47.9 per cent of Local Authorities have an ‘adopted plan’ with a further 22.9 per cent in the process of doing so.

While some have called for an extension to the deadline for Local Authorities to produce a Local Plan before the NPPF comes into play, the BPF warned doing so would slow down the implementation of the Government’s planning reforms, and so hold back the delivery of much needed development.

“We’ve always said the key to the success of the NPPF was local authorities producing a Local Plan, and we’re pleased to see many have risen to the challenge, and hope the remainder will follow suit quickly. They have had seven years to put a Local Plan in place, and frankly should now just get on with it," Liz Peace, chief executive of the British Property Federation, said.

“It’s clear we need development to meet the housing and commercial needs of the country, and quality plans need to be produced that will allow the development community and local authorities then work together to deliver it.

“Even so, fears that the lack of a plan will lead to the untrammeled destruction of the countryside are overblown. Even where there is no Local Plan, development must still conform to the NPPF, which clearly sets out that development must be well located, well designed and sustainable.”

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