All local planning authorities (LPAs) are required by law to prepare a development plan and keep under review matters that affect the development of their area. The legislation requires that planning applications should be determined in accordance with the plan, which contains the planning policies relating to the local area. As a result, its contents are the primary consideration in any development proposal.
The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) sets out guidance on the approach of the government to planning policy and how that approach is expected to be applied. Where a plan does not provide specific guidance on a particular matter, the provisions of the NPPF will apply. As such, it is a material consideration in determining planning applications.