The government has reduced a controversial small sites requirement as part of the revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), in response to concerns raised by the local councils and the private sector.

The newly released NPPF states that councils must accommodate 10% of their housing requirement on small sites. This is a marked reduction in comparison to the draft NPPF which had stated a 20% requirement on smaller sites.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) consultation response document said that the policy in the new NPPF, paragraph 68, instead requires local planning authorities “to ensure that at least 10% of their housing requirement should be accommodated on sites of one hectare or less (rather than 0.5 hectares) that have been identified as suitable for housing”. This can be through a development plan or brownfield registers.

Respondents also suggested that the proposed percentage of 20% of sites threshold “should be a percentage in relation to the housing requirement rather than the number of allocated sites”, whilst councils suggested that the figure was “too high and inflexible to use in practice”.

25 July 2018