National planning policy

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government looks after national planning policy. They provide guidance on how to:

  • prepare development plan documents
  • deal with planning applications

See: GOV.UK – Planning and building.

National Planning Policy Framework

The Government’s planning policies for England are set out in the GOV.UK – National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). This replaces most:

  • Planning Policy Statements
  • Planning Policy Guidance notes
  • Minerals Planning Statements
  • Minerals Planning Guidance notes and circulars

The NPPF does not contain specific waste policies. National waste planning policy will become part of the National Waste Management Plan for England. Local authorities need to operate within the Framework.

For more information on how the NPPF affects Plan making, see Local planning policy.

Localism Act and Neighbourhood planning

The Localism Act came into force in November 2011. It aims to give local communities more control over housing and planning decisions.

Under the Act, Regional Spatial Strategies (RSS) were abolished. Existing RSS, including the South East Plan have been revoked.

Neighbourhood planning is a new right for communities introduced through the Localism Act. Communities are given powers to shape development and growth in their local area through:

  • a neighbourhood development plan
  • a neighbourhood development order
  • or a Community Right to Build