The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) has running throughout it the ‘golden thread of sustainable development’. In spite of this, there is no clear-cut, NPPF-based assessment criteria to consider a site or project’s sustainable development credentials, making current assessment processes both tricky and subjective.
The Sustainable Development Commission was established to address this recognised issue with our planning system. Made up of a balanced cross-section of industry professionals, the Commission has debated the issues and found solutions, culminating in the creation of the Sustainable Development Scorecard.
The Scorecard reflects guidance from the NPPF's definition of sustainable development, consisting of the three pillars of economic, environmental and social sustainability. In order to provide a truly sustainable development, all three pillars should be given equal consideration.
The Scorecard website will be free to use and accessible to anyone with a vested interest in development, including developers, architects, planners, community groups and members of the public. By crystallising the NPPF's guidance into a simple, online analysis tool, the Commission aims to provide a more consistent approach to sustainable development, leading to a more sustainable built environment.