Draft national framework backs live/work
Live/work has won backing in a heavyweight report commissioned to help shape the government’s new National Planning Policy Framework.
The proposed framework, submitted to decentralisation and planning minister Greg Clark by the specially convened Practitioners Advisory Group, says local planning authorities should 'facilitate new working practices such as live/work' when drawing up their plans.
A draft version of the new framework, which will pull together all existing planning policy statements into a single document, is due to be published next month. The support for live/work by the group, which was commissioned by Clark to inform the framework’s preparation, will increase the pressure on ministers to endorse it too.
The report also says local authorities should promote economic development in their localities but recommends that local authorities should 'avoid the long term protection of employment land and floorspace'. It says councils should 'treat applications for alternative uses on designated land or buildings on their merits having regard to market signals and the relative need for different land uses'. In a statement issued to tie in with the submission of the document, the authors said that there 'need be no inconsistency between the promotion of the increased levels of development which the country needs and the protection of the environment.
Indeed, we hope that this is a clear and strong theme in our draft – based on the idea that economic growth can be decoupled from environmental degradation.' Overall, the framework says plans should optimise the potential of sites to 'create and sustain an appropriate mix of uses... and support local facilities and transport networks.'
Tim Dwelly, director of Live/Work Network welcomed the proposals: 'These are sensible proposals which we hope will be incorporated into the framework. With the number of home-based self-employed rising over 24% since 2001, planning policy should reflect this trend, which is helping to make better use of property in the UK. Live/work is, after all, mixed-use in its purest form.'
View draft framework here.