Plain English Guide to the Planning System

Communities in England will now have information about planning at their fingertips thanks to a new Plain English Guide to the Planning System.

Produced by the Department for Communities and Local Government the Plain English guide explains how the planning system in England works. However, it is only intended to give an overview and does not set new planning policy or guidance. Planning guidance can still be accessed online via the Planning Portal.

The Plain English guide offers a quick and easy explanation of how the planning system works, how local and neighbourhood plans are written and adopted, and how to go about obtaining planning permission.

This could prove very useful for communities wanting to have their say over the future development of their local area as the guide clearly explains the opportunities for local people to get involved in the debate over what is built in their neighbourhood.

The guide forms another part of the government’s wide-ranging reforms of the planning system, which has included abolishing Regional Strategies and giving local people a greater say over future building in their area.

Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis explained:

“The previous system of top-down targets left residents powerless in the face of local development – our reforms have reversed this, and put people back in control.

“People are already voting with their feet, with 1,200 communities involved in neighbourhood plans, and 80% of authorities have published a local plan – this plain English guide gives all the information anyone would need to get involved in the local decision-making process.”

By David Mote, Editor