Planning policy

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 planning policies relating to the local area. As a result, its contents are the primary consideration in the assessment of any development proposal.

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) sets out guidance on the government's approach to planning policy and how it 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. 

For each LPA, planning policy is set out in the local development framework, which comprises a number of separate documents setting out development policies for the area, including (not exclusively) development plans (comprising local plans, core strategies, site-allocation documents and retained policies from older plans, neighbourhood plans and supplementary planning documents). Plans are also being updated, so increasingly the local development framework comprises a single local plan, neighbourhood plans and supplementary planning documents. 

This section is maintained by Pearce Gunne-Jones of tor&co.