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Last edited 15 Feb 2023
In England, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) decides national planning policy and this is set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The NPPF is supported by planning practice guidance.
National Planning Practice Guidance (NPPG) is a government website described as ‘the home of the National Planning Policy Framework for England and supporting national planning practice guidance’. Launched on 6 March 2014, the site suggests that ‘for the first time, planning practice guidance is easily accessible and available online’. Its launch was accompanied by a Ministerial Statement including a list of previous planning practice guidance that was cancelled (ref. Written ministerial statement by Nick Boles on local planning).
In addition, a schedule of the legislation that underpins planning in England can be found on the Planning Portal website. The Planning Portal also facilitates the electronic submission of planning applications to local authorities and is the only route for the electronic submission of planning appeals.
Responsibility for granting planning permission lies with local planning authorities (usually the planning department of the district or borough council), who may also establish local policies such as; permitted developments, article 4 directions, local development orders, local plans, and so on.
Planning policy is set out in the National Planning Framework (NPF3) and Scottish Planning Policy (SPP), the latest versions of which were launched on June 23, 2014. (Ref Scotland.gov.uk National Planning Framework 3: A Plan for Scotland: Ambition, Opportunity, Place.)
The Welsh government now has the power to create its own primary legislation and is preparing its own Planning Bill. A Draft Bill was published for consultation in December 2013, and the consultation ended on 26 February 2014.
Once the consultation responses have been analysed, the Bill will be introduced to the National Assembly for Wales in 2014. The local planning authorities are responsible for determining planning applications in their area.
In Northern Ireland, the primary planning legislation is The Planning (Northern Ireland) Order 1991. Responsibility for planning is shared between 11 local councils and the Department for Infrastructure.
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