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Planning Policy Statement 4 (PPS4): Planning for Sustainable Economic Growth

DCLG has published the final version of PPS4 which sets out the Government's policy framework for planning for sustainable economic development in urban and rural areas.

PPS4 combines town centre and economic development policy into a single statement that aims to support sustainable economic growth, protect local markets and small shops and help speed up economic recovery in towns and rural communities. The new statement replaces PPG4: Industrial, Commercial Development and Small Firms; PPG5: Simplified Planning Zones; PPS6: Planning for Town Centres, the economic development sections of PPS7: Sustainable Development in Rural Areas and parts of PPG13: Transport relating to maximum parking standards.

The new PPS retains the 'town centres first' policy and the 'sequential test' that requires developers to seek the most central sites first, and promotes consumer choice and retail diversity. It also replaces the 'needs test' with an 'impact test' that requires the economic, social and environmental impacts on the town centre of uses that are not in a designated centre, and not in accordance with an up-to-date development plan, to be assessed. It requires that the positive and/or negative impacts on climate change, town centre vitality and viability, local consumer choice and the range and quality of the comparison and convenience retail offer,   investment and town centre trade be assessed, and allows for councils to cap the size of big retail developments where this is justified.

The new PPS also includes a requirement for local authorities to plan positively for sustainable economic growth, to make markets an integral part of the vision for their town centres, enhancing existing markets and, where appropriate, re-introducing or creating new ones; and allows rural authorities to plan for economic development in rural areas subject to the need to protect the countryside, recognising that a site may be acceptable even if it's not readily accessible by public transport.

 For more information contact see the following website:

  http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/planningandbuilding/planningpolicystatement4

Government consultation on measures to streamline the planning system, help businesses deliver projects quickly and drive down costs during recovery

The government has launched 3 consultations on how the planning system can be further streamlined to enable a faster and more responsive planning application process. These changes are part of the of the government's response to the Killian Pretty review commissioned in 2008 and cover a new approach to development management that will give developers clarity about the decision-making process, and local authorities certainty about when and how developments will be delivered, the use and discharge of planning conditions and improving engagement by statutory and non-statutory consultees.

 The consultation papers can be found at:

www.communities.gov.uk/publications/planningandbuilding/developmentmanagementconsult  

www.communities.gov.uk/publications/planningandbuilding/improvingplanningconditions  

www.communities.gov.uk/publications/planningandbuilding/improvingengagementconsult  

6th  January 2010


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