Responsibility for granting planning permission lies with local planning authorities, usually the planning department of the district or borough council (see local planning authority for more information). If planning permission is refused, the applicant may lodge an appeal which will then usually be decided by a planning inspector acting for the Secretary of State.
Local plans are prepared by district planning authorities (local planning authorities responsible for district matters). They set out a framework for the future development of an area, defining; the priorities for an area, strategic policies, the framework for neighbourhood plans, land allocations, infrastructure requirements housing needs, requirements for safeguarding the environment, measures for adapting to climate change and so on.
Neighbourhood planning was introduced by the Localism Act and was brought into effect by the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations. It allows local communities to influence where new developments should take place, what new developments should look like and under certain circumstances to grant planning permission. Where there is a parish or town council, they can represent the local community. Where there is not, the local community may decide to be represented by an existing community group or to create a new community group.
In Scotland, primary planning law is established by The Town and Country Planning Act (Scotland) Chapter 8 as amended by The Planning etc. (Scotland) Act. Local authorities and the national park authorities are responsibility for delivering planning services.
In Northern Ireland, the primary planning legislation is The Planning (Northern Ireland) Order. Permissions are granted by the Department of the Environment Planning and Local Government Group following consultation with the district or borough council.
See Planning policy for more information.
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