The NPPF aims to make the planning system less complex and more accessible, to protect the environment and to promote sustainable growth. It replaces all national planning policy, circulars and guidance, including Planning Policy Guidance 24: Planning and Noise.
The NPPF defines the Government's planning policy for England and sets out the framework, within which local authorities must prepare their local and neighbourhood plans, reflecting the needs and priorities of their communities.
The NPPF requires Local Authorities to develop local policies and make decisions which aim to:
- avoid noise from giving rise to significant adverse impacts on health and quality of life as a result of new development;
- mitigate and reduce to a minimum other adverse impacts on health and quality of life arising from new development, including through the use of conditions;
- recognise that development will often create some noise and existing businesses wanting to develop in continuance of their business should not have unreasonable restrictions put on them because of changes in nearby land uses since they were established; and
- identify and protect areas of tranquillity which have remained relatively undisturbed by noise and are prized for their recreational and amenity value for this reason.
The framework is not accompanied by any technical guidance (other than for flooding and mineral policy) and there is a strong emphasis on local authorities to develop their own policies on noise, which achieve the principles listed above, while considering the local needs of the area.