A revision to the NPPF published today (19 February 2019) includes an update to para 177 in respect of Appropriate Assessment, such that presumption in favour of sustainable development is restored if the AA concludes that the proposals will not adversely affect the integrity of the habitats site (SPA/SAC). The updated paragraph reads:
- The presumption in favour of sustainable development does not apply where the plan or project is likely to have a significant effect on a habitats site (either alone or in combination with other plans or projects), unless an appropriate assessment has concluded that the plan or project will not adversely affect the integrity of the habitats site.
The updated text of the 2019 NPPF can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-planning-policy-framework–2
This update is very much welcomed and follows the government consultation which closed in December, which responds to the ECJ People Over Wind decision (http://aspect-environmental.com/april-2018-people-over-wind-new-case-law/) of April 2018.