Complexities of the new National Planning Policy Framework will only appear over time. Whilst a 50 page document may well appear to streamline planning, the implication is that the relevant policies – such as those protecting the Green Belt, Sites of Special Scientific Interest, National Parks and other areas – cannot be overridden by the golden thread of presumption in favour of sustainable development.
However it is of interest that Flood Risk and Minerals Policy warrant the release of a Technical Supplement to the main NPPF Document. A whole twelve pages is reserved to stress the guiding principles of avoiding un-necessary development in Flood Zones.
This guidance may well have been retained to reflect the problems emanating from the issues of future household and business insurance within the flood zones. Until the Government and Insurance industry can reach agreement on whether further subsidy can be agreed or otherwise, then Insurance in these areas may become expensive or in the worse case scenario un-obtainable.
Without insurance, mortgages will be un-obtainable. This would mean development in Flood Zones may well be deemed un-sustainable.