Even though the NPPF has been diluted a bit, any Local Authority which still lacks a local plan must be scrambling to produce one.
The NPPF still states that where a plan is silent, or absent, then the presumption in favour of sustainable development will apply.
But I'm berry worried that these hastily constructed Local Plans may be very poorly specimens, when they are published.
It is still far too early for us to gauge just how draconian appeal decisions might be. But this is not the time for an authority to stick its neck out.
Sustainability is said to run through the NPPF like a golden thread. But how far any authority might want to go down the route of specifying really sustainable development, I'd any bodies guess.
For example, how many authorities would specify car-free development or demand higher levels of public transport, when maximum parking standards have just been scrapped?
The sustainable rhetoric is admirable, but the reality if policies issuing from this government tells quite another story.
However, I do hope that some authorities will take the opportunity of greater autonomy to try a more radical approach.
The duty to co-operate could be interpreted as a duty for tiered authorities to become unitary. The localism agenda might just get some interesting schemes off the ground somewhere. The whole country can't be NIMBY's ... or can they?