The Government is currently consulting on their updated National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The framework sets out government's planning policies for England and how these are expected to be applied.

Planning plays a vital role in how we go about our everyday journeys. Too often, new developments are planned around the car, making walking and cycling to school and local shops difficult and increasing our dependency on the car.

In our consultation response to the draft revised NPPF, submitted today (10 May, 2018), we have said that the revised guidance should continue to require schools and key services to be located within walking distance of residential developments, to enable more walking of everyday journeys.

Three children crossing a zebra crossing

Tompion Platt, Head of Policy and Communications, Living Streets said: 

“There’s much to welcome in the Government’s new draft NPPF, especially the new policy that transport issues – in particular, opportunities to promote walking and cycling - should be considered from the earliest stages of plan making and development proposals.

"However, this new slimmed down version of the NPPF needs to spell out that primary schools should be located within walking distance of most homes.

"We are concerned that the new draft framework no longer specifies the need for larger scale residential developments to locate key facilities such as primary schools and local shops within walking distance of most properties.

"Increasing home to school distance can partly explain the long-term falling rates of walking to school. If we are going to reverse this decline, we need to plan walking into our neighbourhoods from the start.”