There has been some media attention on the perceived implications of making decisions without having an up-to-date Local Plan, particularly if the authority also can’t demonstrate a five year land supply of specific deliverable sites against objectively assessed housing needs (as required by paragraph 47 of the Framework). Some have suggested that any development, whatever the impacts, is acceptable in the absence of an up-to-date Local Plan because of para 49 of the Framework – sometimes referred to as ‘the presumption’. Some people effectively say ‘there’s no point in refusing this housing scheme as without a housing supply and plan, we don’t stand a chance on appeal’. However national policy and the objective of pursuing sustainable development is a material consideration in planning decisions irrespective of the status of an area’s development plan. And levels of planning appeals upheld against an authority’s original determination remain constant at only one per cent of all planning decisions in England. There are several recent cases where development has been refused permission in the absence of an up-to-date Local Plan or five-year land supply because it would conflict with national policy objectives. These cases are summarised below; the full reasoning is set out in the relevant hyperlinked decision letters.