National Organisation of Residents Associations


NORA Response to Review Of Planning Practice Guidance




Q1. Do you agree with the recommendations of the Review Group overall?


Q2. Do you agree with the proposed recommendations for a much reduced set of essential practice guidance in the format recommended? (Recommendations 1, 2, 3, 5, 6)


Q3. Do you agree that standards for future Government Planning Practice Guidance should be implemented by the Chief Planner in DCLG, but with decisions on what to include within guidance still taken by Ministers? (Recommendation 4)


Q4. While access to all planning guidance online will be free of charge, do you think it would be appropriate to offer planning professionals an additional service involving immediate notification of every revision to the guidance, and to make a small charge for this service? (Recommendation 6)


Privilege in the planning process should not be available for those with deep pockets.

Q5. Do you agree that the new web based resource should be clearly identified as the unique source of Government Planning Practice Guidance? (Recommendations 7-9)


Q6. Do you agree with the recommended timescales for cancellation of guidance and new/revised guidance being put in place? (Recommendations 10-13)


Q7. Do you agree with the recommendations for cancellation of existing guidance documents? Are there specific, essential elements of current guidance material that should in your view be retained and considered for inclusion in the revised guidance set? (Recommendations 14 - 16)


NORA members agree with the proposals for cancellation, but have considerable concerns about the inadequacy of guidance on enforcement of planning decisions.

Q8. Do you agree with the recommended priority list for new/revised guidance? (Recommendations 17-18)


In NORA's view it is essential to include clear guidance on policies of enforcement in the priority list. It is regrettable that this element in the planning regime is too often under-funded and under-staffed, so that all the skills and effort employed to determine planning applications are undermined by a failure to ensure that planning consent is needed for development and that planning consents and conditions are correctly implemented by all ranging from large developers to individual householders.

Q9. Are there any further points you would like to make in response to the Review Group's Report? Do you have additional ideas to improve and/or streamline planning practice guidance?


Emphasis is needed to ensure that local authorities provide adequately funded and staffed enforcement facilities to monitor development. The sole paragraph on enforcement in the National Planning Policy Framework does not do justice to this essential feature of the planning process.

February 2013                                                Alan B Shrank - NORA chairman