Local planning authority
The local planning authority is usually the planning department of the district or borough council.
The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) defines a local planning authority as, 'the public authority whose duty it is to carry out specific planning functions for a particular area. All references to local planning authority apply to the district council, London borough council, county council, Broads Authority, National Park Authority and the Greater London Authority, to the extent appropriate to their responsibilities.'
Very broadly, the responsibilities of the local planning authority include;
- Producing a local plan: This is a framework for the future development of an area defining strategic policies, the framework for neighborhood plans, land allocations, infrastructure requirements housing needs, requirements for safeguarding the environment, measures for adapting to climate change and so on. (See local plan). Local plans are also the starting-point for considering whether planning applications should be approved. The framework states that If a plan is absent, silent or out of date, permission should be granted, unless there are significant and demonstrable reasons not to grant permission.
- Determining planning applications. Decisions about straight-forward applications will be made under powers delegated to planning officers. More significant or contentious applications will be decided by a planning committee, made up of local councillors. In determining planning applications the local planning authority will consult with the local community, statutory consultees and non-statutory consultees.
- Enforcement: Acting proportionately in response to suspected breaches of planning control.
- Supporting neighbourhood planning.
The National Planning Policy Framework requires that plan making and decision taking:
- 'Should be genuinely plan-led.
- Should be a creative exercise, not just one of scrutiny.
- Should be proactive in driving and supporting sustainable development.
- Should seek and secure high quality.
- Should take account of the diverse character of different areas.
- Should support the transition to a climate-resilient, low-carbon economy.
- Should contribute to conserving and enhancing the natural environment and reducing pollution.
- Should encourage the use of brownfield land.
- Should encourage mixed-use development.
- Should conserve heritage.
- Should maximise the use of public transport, walking and cycling.
- Should support health, social and cultural wellbeing.'
Local planning authorities can be placed under special measures if they fail to determine 70% or more of the major applications they handle within 13 weeks (applications for 10 homes or more, or the equivalent commercial floorspace), or if more than 20% of major applications decisions are overturned on appeal. Local planning authorities under special measures will have applications determined by the planning inspectorate and will lose a proportion of the application fee. Special measures designation will be reviewed annually to allow improving authorities to regain their determination powers.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Government departments responsibility for construction.
- Local authority.
- Local plan.
- National Planning Policy Framework.
- Neighbourhood planning.
- Planning authority.
- Planning permission.
- Public authority.
- Public building.
 External references
Featured articles and news
Read about the launch event for our major new report about the worrying and widening construction knowledge gap.
We've analysed 6 million pieces of data to reveal that the knowledge framework underpinning the construction industry is no longer fit for purpose.
The theme for BSRIA's 2017 Briefing is 'Solutions to Tomorrow’s Challenges in Today’s Buildings'.
Dealing more than 1,700 consultations was just one of last year’s tasks for the Gardens Trust.
Read about the history behind one of California's most iconic buildings, the Griffith Observatory.
ICE examine just how close we are to providing subsidy-free low carbon electricity.
Have a look at MAD Architects' design proposal for renovating Montparnasse Tower into a concave mirror.
This article examines the legal issues behind off-site goods and materials.
Read about how technology is changing the real estate industry.
BRE Global introduce the first registration scheme for Suitably Qualified Security Specialists.
An introductory article to the different types of building foundations.
This unique Brutalist-era car park just off Oxford Street is soon to be demolished.