The main statutes governing planning law are:
- Town and Country Planning Act 1990
- Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990
- Planning and Compensation Act 1991
- Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.
The purpose of the planning system is to protect the environment as well as public amenities and facilities. The planning control process is administered by local authorities and exists to ‘control the development and use of land and buildings for the best interests of the community’. The levels of planning are:
- Regions set out regional policy through Regional Planning Guidance
- Structure Plans establish broad planning policies at county council level, and finally
- Local plans set out detailed policy at district council level.
- Outline. This is an application for a development in principle without detail of construction, etc. Generally used for large scale developments to get mainly permission
- Reserved matters. A follow-up to an outline application stage
- Full planning permission. Sometimes referred to as detailed planning permission when a fully detailed application is made. Permission when granted is valid for six years.
- Properties in conservation areas
- Non-compliance with local development plan
- Property is subject to a covenant
- Planning permission already exists
- Infringements of rights of way.
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