PPS 4 Release
PPS 4 – What You Need To Know
This Newsletter focuses on the content of ‘PPS4 Planning for Sustainable Economic Growth’ and we have also set out below in more detail the principal elements affecting retail development, albeit this guidance only applies to England.
It was issued (with little apparent fanfare) on the 29th December. It is odd timing for the release of such a long awaited PPS, and one which has such significant implications for ‘UK plc’ at such a low point in the Economic Cycle. The summary below specifically seeks to address the retail aspects of the PPS, which have generated most professional interest – but sight should not be lost that this PPS also replaces the long out of date PPG4 Industrial, Commercial Development and Small Firms (Nov 1992) as well as PPG5 Simplified Planning Zones (Nov 1992) and parts of PPS 7 and 13.
As ever in the current climate of ‘simplification’ of Government Policy, the combined 45 pages of the now superseded PPG4 and PPS6, have been replaced by a streamlined 33 page PPS4 ... and a 100 page ‘Practice Guidance on need, impact and sequential approach’ for Town Centre Uses. Whilst this is emphatically stated as not being ‘Government Policy’ it is clear in our experience from its first week of application, that practitioners are treating it as of substantial weight . To give credit where it is due though, this Practice Guidance does codify much of what was previously in circulation by way of ‘best practice’ advice, and now provides a Template for Town Centre Use related applications.
PPS 4 marks a step change in Planning Policy in a number of important areas – it recognises that employment and economic growth in all areas of the economy, are of equal importance. In so doing it places the traditional perceptions of ‘real jobs’ (ie those created by Class B uses) , on a par with retail, other town centre, public and community use employment (ie Use Class A and D jobs). It also emphasises the continued shift of Government Policy to ‘sustainable economic growth’ with a commitment to secure ‘low carbon’ growth; there are also several ‘nods’ toward the protection of the Nation’s architectural, historic and archaeological heritage, which seems to have grown in significance from earlier Guidance/Statements.
Alliance Planning is a UK wide planning consultancy