The MP for Tunbridge Wells, Greg Clark, has received a good press for his work as planning minister to steer the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) to publication. Not only does the new document replace 44 documents running to over 1,200 pages with a 49 page document, it gives impetus to the government's Localism agenda in which Greg Clark played a major role. His success is deserving of a promotion: indeed had it not been for the need for the Coalition, he would have been given the environment portfolio, which instead went to Chris Huhne.
Local authorities will now be looking at their local plans to ensure consistency with the NPPF and also to take advantage of the provisions within the framework to deter unwanted development. Doubtless a body of case law will be created as courts interpret the NPPF and local plans as developers seek judicial review or clarification of the new framework.
The irony is that the planning portfolio in Tunbridge Wells is held by councillor Brian Ransley who was the subject of a Standards for England report earlier this year.