Planning practice guidance

The National Planning Policy Framework and relevant planning practice guidance.

In response to the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), MHCLG has published planning guidance. We will be adding to this as guidance is updated, so please check the page regularly. Best practice advice and links are also available from the Planning Advisory Service website

The National Planning Policy Framework was published on 27 March 2012 and revised on 24 July 2018. It sets out the government’s planning policies for England and how these are expected to be applied.

Download the full policy document.

Where plans are being prepared under the transitional arrangements set out in Annex 1 to the revised National Planning Policy Framework, the policies in the previous version of the framework published in 2012 will continue to apply, as will any previous guidance which has been superseded since the new framework was published in July 2018. If you’d like an email alert when changes are made to planning guidance please subscribe.

Planning practice guidance categories

We have revised and updated planning practice guidance to make it accessible.

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  2. Air quality
  3. Appeals
  4. Appropriate assessment
  5. Before submitting an application
  6. Brownfield land registers
  7. Build to rent
  8. Climate change
  9. Community Infrastructure Levy
  10. Consultation and pre-decision matters
  11. Crown development
  12. Design: process and tools
  13. Determining a planning application
  14. Effective use of land
  15. Enforcement and post-permission matters
  16. Environmental Impact Assessment
  17. Fees for planning applications
  18. Flexible options for planning permissions
  19. Flood risk and coastal change
  20. Green Belt
  21. Hazardous substances
  22. Healthy and safe communities
  23. Historic environment
  24. Housing and economic land availability assessment
  25. Housing and economic needs assessment
  26. Housing needs of different groups
  27. Housing for older and disabled people
  28. Housing: optional technical standards
  29. Housing supply and delivery
  30. Land affected by contamination
  31. Land stability
  32. Lawful development certificates
  33. Light pollution
  34. Making an application
  35. Minerals
  36. Natural environment
  37. Neighbourhood planning
  38. Noise
  39. Open space, sports and recreation facilities, public rights of way and local green space
  40. Permission in principle
  41. Plan-making
  42. Planning obligations
  43. Renewable and low carbon energy
  44. Rural housing
  45. Self-build and custom housebuilding
  46. Strategic environmental assessment and sustainability appraisal
  47. Town centres and retail
  48. Transport evidence bases in plan making and decision taking
  49. Travel Plans, Transport Assessments and Statements
  50. Tree Preservation Orders and trees in conservation areas
  51. Use of planning conditions
  52. Viability
  53. Waste
  54. Water supply, wastewater and water quality
  55. When is permission required?

Other planning policies

  1. Housing Delivery Test measurement rule book
  2. National planning policy for waste
  3. Planning policy for traveller sites
  4. Planning for schools development: statement
Published 29 November 2016
Last updated 1 October 2019 + show all updates
  1. Updated guidance on 'Design: process and tools'.

  2. added - Appropriate assessment, Effective use of land, Green Belt, Housing needs of different groups and Housing Supply and delivery

  3. Added Housing for older and disabled people

  4. Updated guidance on 'Neighbourhood planning' and 'Viability'.

  5. Added a link to a user feedback survey

  6. Added new guidance on 'Build to rent' and 'Plan-making'. Updated guidance on 'Housing need assessment', 'Housing and economic land availability assessment', 'Local Plans' and 'Neighbourhood Planning'.

  7. Added 'Housing Delivery Test measurement rule book'.

  8. Added guidance on 'Brownfield land registers' and 'Permission in principle'.

  9. First published.