National Planning Policy Framework

Annex 1: Implementation

Implementing the National Planning Policy Framework.

208. The policies in this Framework apply from the day of publication.

209. The National Planning Policy Framework aims to strengthen local decision making and reinforce the importance of up-to-date plans.

210. Planning law requires that applications for planning permission must be determined in accordance with the development plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise.

211. For the purposes of decision-taking, the policies in the Local Plan (and the London Plan) should not be considered out-of-date simply because they were adopted prior to the publication of this Framework.

212. However, the policies contained in this Framework are material considerations which local planning authorities should take into account from the day of its publication. The Framework must also be taken into account in the preparation of plans.

213. Plans may, therefore, need to be revised to take into account the policies in this Framework. This should be progressed as quickly as possible, either through a partial review or by preparing a new plan.

214. For 12 months from the day of publication, decision-takers may continue to give full weight to relevant policies adopted since 20041 even if there is a limited degree of conflict with this Framework.

215. In other cases and following this 12-month period, due weight should be given to relevant policies in existing plans according to their degree of consistency with this framework (the closer the policies in the plan to the policies in the Framework, the greater the weight that may be given).

216. From the day of publication, decision-takers may also give weight2 to relevant policies in emerging plans according to:

  • the stage of preparation of the emerging plan (the more advanced the preparation, the greater the weight that may be given);
  • the extent to which there are unresolved objections to relevant policies (the less significant the unresolved objections, the greater the weight that may be given); and
  • the degree of consistency of the relevant policies in the emerging plan to the policies in this Framework (the closer the policies in the emerging plan to the policies in the Framework, the greater the weight that may be given).

217. Advice will be available immediately and free of charge from a support service provided by the Local Government Association, the Planning Inspectorate and the Department for Communities and Local Government. This will assist local planning authorities in considering the need to update their Local Plan and taking forward efficient and effective reviews.

218. Where it would be appropriate and assist the process of preparing or amending Local Plans, regional strategy3 policies can be reflected in Local Plans by undertaking a partial review focusing on the specific issues involved. Local planning authorities may also continue to draw on evidence that informed the preparation of regional strategies to support Local Plan policies, supplemented as needed by up-to-date, robust local evidence.

219. This Framework has been drafted to reflect the law following the implementation of the Localism Act 2011, so, where appropriate, policies will apply only when the relevant legislation is in force.


  1. In development plan documents adopted in accordance with the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 or published in the London Plan. 

  2. Unless other material considerations indicate otherwise. 

  3. Regional strategies remain part of the development plan until they are abolished by Order using powers taken in the Localism Act. It is the government’s clear policy intention to revoke the regional strategies outside of London, subject to the outcome of the environmental assessments that are currently being undertaken.