Planning Help Menu

Improve where you live

England's planning system exists to ensure that all new development integrates the different needs of community, economy and environment. Recent changes allow local communities to have a greater say in how their area develops and how local needs are met. This section explores how we can all can get involved in the planning system, and use our local knowledge, our sense of what we value, and our desire to make a difference to improve our area.

How to comment on a planning application

Whether you want to find out more about a proposed new development, comment on a plan to build a new road, or support a new community centre, our 8-step guide will help you understand the planning process and how to present your views effectively to the right people.

How your council makes planning decisions

Planning authorities balance local and national priorities to ensure development is positive for the local community, economy and the environment. We explain the various tiers of policy to help you understand the way decisions are made.

Shape your local area

Local communities can have an influence over how their neighbourhoods develop. Learn how to improve your area through helping shape Local and Neighbourhood Plans.

How to challenge a planning decision

Once a planning decision has been made it is difficult to challenge. Challenges can be made to the High Court or Judicial Review, but only by people who have previously made representation on an application, and only on procedural issues or points of law. This is a difficult and costly process and should not be undertaken without specialist legal advice.

What to do if a development breaks the rules

Proper enforcement of planning controls makes sure that development is in the best interests of the community, the economy and the environment. Here are steps you can take if you believe a new development doesn't have planning permission or is in breach of its planning conditions.

Campaign Tips

Find out how to organise an effective campaign against inappropriate development.
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