Proposed changes to National Planning Policy

I have received the letter below from the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. Constituents interested can respond to the consultation. I will be having further exchanges with Ministers stressing the need to control migration to reduce pressures for more housing, and the need for local communities to protect green spaces and avoid over stretching local infrastructure and services.


Dear colleague,

Proposed changes to National Planning Policy

In my Written Ministerial Statement of 6 December I said that the Government would publish a National Planning Policy consultation before Christmas. This consultation has been published today on

The consultation sets out specific changes that we propose to immediately make to the National Planning Policy Framework to swiftly deliver the Government’s commitments to building enough of the right homes in the right places with the right infrastructure, ensuring the environment is protected and giving local people a greater say on where and where not to place new development.

We know that the best way to secure more high-quality homes in the right places is through the adoption of local plans. At present fewer than half of local authorities have up-to-date plans (adopted in the past five years). Our proposed reforms create clear incentives for more local authorities to adopt plans.

In line with my Written Ministerial Statement on onshore wind, also of 6 December, we are consulting on a more localist approach to consenting onshore development, which provides local authorities more flexibility to respond to the views of their local communities. This will support local decision making and commitments made in the British Energy Security Strategy.

The consultation includes changes to:
1. make clear how housing figures should be derived and applied so that communities can respond to local circumstances;
2. address issues in the operation of the housing delivery and land supply tests;
3. tackle problems of slow build out;
4. encourage local planning authorities to support the role of community-led groups in delivering affordable housing on exception sites;
5. set clearer expectations around planning for older peoples’ housing;
6. promote more beautiful homes, including through gentle density;
7. make sure that food security considerations are factored into planning decisions that affect farm land;
8. and enable new methods for demonstrating local support for onshore wind development.

The document also calls for views on a wider range of proposals, particularly focused on making sure the planning system capitalises on opportunities to support the natural environment, respond to climate change and deliver on levelling up of economic opportunity, and signals areas that we expect to consider in the context of a wider review of the Framework to follow Royal Assent of the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill.

This consultation is the first stage of a broader programme of reform. The government will publish another consultation on the detail of wider changes to the NPPF next year, reflecting responses to this consultation and across other areas of planning policy.
Finally, this document also sets out the envisaged role for National Development Management Policies (NDMPs). These are intended to save plan-makers from having to repeat nationally important policies in their own plans, so that plans can be quicker to produce and focus on locally relevant policies. This document calls for views on how we implement NDMPs and the Government will consult on the detail next year ahead of finalising the position.

The consultation will be open until 2nd March 2023 and I encourage you and your constituents to respond before that date. The Government will respond to this consultation in Spring 2023, publishing the Framework revisions as part of this, so that policy changes can take effect as soon as possible.

With every good wish,

Rt Hon Michael Gove MP
Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities
Minister for Intergovernmental Relations


  1. Hope
    December 23, 2022

    Stop mass immigration policy.
    Reduce demand for house building.
    No house building unless it is proved adequate infrastructure will be provided and without any loss of or reduction to public services to existing residents.
    No more Tory urban ghettos villages. These have proven to be detrimental to existing residents. Some forced to move out.
    Build detention centres in N.Ireland, Wales and Scotland to receive most refugees, illegal immigration. When they are inevitably granted citizenship housed in these devolved nations.
    No speaks for England so we do not have a view or representation so England should be exempt as we housed too many already.
    Scrap mayors as it will add further complications.
    No local authority allowed to charge extra management fee, on top of community charge, for maintaining open recreation areas.

    1. Iain Moore
      December 23, 2022


  2. James
    December 23, 2022

    Wow! and still they gazed and still the wonder grew that one small head could carry all he knew

  3. Bryan Harris
    December 23, 2022

    If planning rules are going to be more locally driven, that can’t be a bad thing, but that does mean we will need to look very closely at what our area councils are planning.

    Less central planning is always a good thing when it comes to housing – there are plenty of high rise, high density and attractive, apartment blocks in London that do not look out of place as they would in country areas.
    It’s vital that new developments are attractive and blend in – far more important than any net-zero consideration.

    1. glen cullen
      December 23, 2022

      Remember how we got regional mayors, they bribed the local authorities with money, they got an extra government grant ….they’ll do the same with planning and levelling up – and that’s not democracy that’s bribery by-passing the people

  4. Ian B
    December 23, 2022

    It appears to be a lot of Waffle. Central Government want to dictate their centralised one size fits all policies on local communities that have to then create the functioning societies.

    The real big ‘elephant-in-the-room’ if you like is who pays? Who pays for local infrastructure, roads, schools heath services and nowadays water, power etc. Particularly when it is forced on communities that don’t need these extras to cope with their indigenous/local growth and prosperity. As in Central Government is dumping on successful local communities because they have made blunders and failed elsewhere.

    As you know Sir John on our door step with have a glaring example of failure of central government involvement – Wokingham. Once a prosperous super efficient resilient community, now a lumbering expensive failed ‘white elephant’ of a community. Lack of infrastructure or even a plan, lack of health facilities and so on.

    The one size fits all mentality is a Government in fear, in fear of itself and the electorate. It wants personalty to be seen to be doing something, anything when it has always and will always be beyond their capability. Levelling Up was always a joke ‘sound bite’ it has no meaning in the real World as it excludes those that have the ability to move things on

    1. Ian B
      December 23, 2022

      @Ian B
      In other words Centrally Dictating a one size fits all dream on communities, then expecting others to clean the mess up, just to match a jingoistic ‘sound bite’ is shear lunacy.
      Look at HS2, blighted communities, lost seats for MP’s and for what, a well over budget project that starts somewhere west of London (it can’t afford to go into the town) and heads of somewhere north east of Birmingham. Meaning centre to centre journey’s will be significantly longer and over priced even if you wanted to go that way. The big loss is the rest of the Rail Network that could have spent the money better.

      Governments are not good at spending ‘our’ money. Sound-bites do not create functioning, reslient societies

  5. Mickey Taking
    December 23, 2022

    The first point that struck me was ‘ the Government’s commitments to building enough of the right homes in the right places with the right infrastructure, ensuring the environment is protected and giving local people a greater say on where and where not to place new development.’
    Priority ought to rank: environment is protected, giving local people a greater say, with the right infrastructure, right places and finally right homes.
    Environment should mean no use of current farmed land. Local people should have the last say. Infrastructure should mean road access developed first, Health service considerations and beginning any required schools at the same time as house building commences – not last! Right places might mean not joining existing settlements together with loss of identities and blurring of official responsibilities. How will the million additional population every year and the forecast homes demand be calculated? It seems to be a wet finger facing any wind. Right homes needs to take into account possibilities to provide suitable homes for older citizens who might sell larger homes easing needs for large family homes already near facilities. Areas for starter homes usually attracting younger people ought not to be mixed with family homes.

  6. Ian Wragg
    December 23, 2022

    Letting overseas students bri g their families and Importing a million foreigners annually means until Britain is totally concreted over then the insanity will stop
    No sign of that happening.

    1. glen cullen
      December 23, 2022


  7. Ian B
    December 23, 2022

    From the MsM
    “Mark Serwotka, the general secretary of the PCS union, predicted a “huge escalation” in industrial action in January across the Civil Service unless ministers enter into negotiations.”

    The Government to date has inferred by its actions it does not manage the Civil Service on behalf of the taxpayer. No one in Government is responsible or accountable for all the taxpayer money dumped on the Civil Service. To date there is no defined payback for the money the civil service receives, as there is no management responsibility accepted by Government.

    Now the Civil Service Union is threatening the Country that unless the taxpayer gives them more money, unless the minister responsible is found and steps up, they will escalate their actions.

    The UK really does need someone to manage the Country.

    Do we really want this type of Government pontificating and imposing it impossible dreams on us.

  8. turboterrier
    December 23, 2022

    Yeah and the band played on.
    Listen to what the people want and respect it.

  9. Sir Joe Soap
    December 23, 2022

    One hell of a lot of words, many being gobbledygook, in this consultation.

    The bottom line is that Gove seems to be planning for mass immigration and a consequent building boom when a democratic decision would almost certainly halt numbers right here right now. So there is already a fundamental difference between what’s wanted locally or nationally and what’s being offered. All questions about local consent/beautiful or not/sustainable or not become irrelevant in the face of this lack of democratic consent.

    Then there’s the question of who pays for all these beautiful new houses with their sustainable energy supplies and green spaces? You need trades who decide to work on them rather than either retire, go back to Poland or work on Mrs Smith’s extension for better pay. You need materials, imported mainly at ever increasing prices. You then need buyers ready to pay 3-4% inte rest out of their wages/benefits. Perhaps government schemes to help, but then you’re back to taxing those buyers or reducing benefits so they can even less afford their own mortgages on these beautiful houses.

    Last, notwithstanding the lack of democratic consent for any of this, you have the absurdity of concreting over the home counties when the indigenous youth of much of the rest of the country are actually crying out for local housing, but of course their wages won’t cut the mustard with developers (and their HMG “mates”… ) who need a pre-existing bustling market at high prices to make a turn for their wares.

    This is all window dressing for the continuing rape of land in the home counties.

  10. Iain Moore
    December 23, 2022

    All pretty academic when they are shovelling people into the country by the million , for how can you have any sort of meaningful planning policy when the Government doesn’t include one of the major drivers of demand, their mass immigration policy? Its insane.

    I was of the opinion the Government thought it was easier to concrete over England than risk being called racist by restricting immigration, but the push back from local people derailed that, so we have this stand off, they won’t cut mass immigration, but they can’t build the houses to house them. Item 7 gets about as close as they can to admitting there is a sustainability issue , but they won’t take the obvious step and talk of the population size they are planning for. Why not ? It seems the most basic starting point for any debate on planning, It comes down to them being either mind-bogglingly complacent, or a nasty two faced bunch who are trying to put one over on us, and I really don’t know which it is.

  11. Michael Saxton
    December 23, 2022

    Seeking to build more offshore and onshore wind farms is hardly levelling up? We don’t need more wind farms they are already a failed and expensive source of energy. We need Nuclear and more secure UK gas. Accepting further immigration is certainly not levelling up. This government is obsessed with Net Zero seeking to outlaw new petrol and diesel ICE’s from 2030, ban gas boilers and even change eating habits? Building intermittent and inefficient wind farms increases our carbon footprint as indeed does new migrants and their families requiring even more housing and infrastructure disrupting local communities? If this is levelling up where does this sit with their Net Zero obsession? All this is contrary to Conservative values and should be strenuously resisted, Mr Gove is pursuing a policy to destroy our Country already seriously damaged.

    1. Original Richard
      December 24, 2022

      Michael Saxton :

      I agree completely.

  12. Fedupsoutherner
    December 23, 2022

    Generally there are not enough retirement properties being built. Older people might like to downsize and have a bungalow. They don’t necessarily need a big garden or one at all but many would like to stay near to friends and family. Downsizing means more homes for families with children.

  13. Roy Grainger
    December 23, 2022

    The NIMBY anti-growth coalition of which John is a member win. Allowing local decisions on housing means that not enough housing will be built – Conservative MPs are always triumphant when they block housing developments in their own constituencies.

    1. R.Grange
      December 24, 2022

      Who are the northern and midlands Tory MPs ‘blocking housing development in their own constituencies’, Roy?

  14. Bloke
    December 23, 2022

    Building large numbers of low-cost high-quality prefabricated homes could take much of the sting out of housing shortage more quickly. However, filling them with uncontrolled illegal entrants to the country would add excess congestion and other nuisances.

  15. Original Richard
    December 24, 2022

    If Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities really wanted to level up, provide sufficient affordable good quality housing and improve the quality of life for existing communities he would call for the immediate halt of the plan to continue with massive immigration designed to turn our country into an ungovernable third world country composed of dozens of separate tribal communities.

  16. Original Richard
    December 24, 2022

    “8. and enable new methods for demonstrating local support for onshore wind development.”

    What are these “new methods”?

    Why should any community welcome the sight and noise from Chinese supplied wind turbines which can only produce expensive and intermittent energy?

    As neither our Parliament, nor the IEA it seems from their latest report, are the slightest bit interested in energy security which requires the expensive storage of electricity, I would suggest that Parliament is fitted with a smart meter designed to only supply electricity when the wind blows.

  17. James
    December 24, 2022

    Could it be that M Gove has latterly joined the ranks of the cabal he once so despised – the experts? Merry Christmas everyone

Comments are closed.