National Planning Policy Framework
The National Planning Policy Framework was published on 27 March 2012 and sets out the Government’s planning policies for England and how these are expected to be applied.   The Government reduced the number of planning policy documents to one which is available online here

Planning Practice Guidance
The Government has collated all the National Planning Guidance into a single resource which for ease of use is available online here

Although the Department of Communities and Local Government has set out the national planning policy as mentioned above, the main responsibility rests with Local Planning Authorities (LPAs).  LPAs are required to set out their planning policies for the area for which they are responsible. Until recently the relevant documents would be the Structure Plan (usually covering an entire county) and the Local Plan (usually covering a specific district). 

There has however been a major shake up of the planning system and LPAs are now required to produce a Local Development Framework, which is a suite of documents outlining how development will be managed in their area and how the LPA will get individuals and communities involved in contributing to the documents preparation. The new system is supposed to be simpler and more responsive to changing circumstances.

As part of the process LPAs will allocate land for different types of development (housing, business retail etc.) and designate areas which have certain qualities e.g. nature conservation sites, Green Belt, Conservation Areas. They will produce policies which apply to different types of development and different designated areas.

For further information or if you wish to discuss your project in detail, please contact the H&H Planning Team on 01228 406260 or email the team in confidence.