Government planning policy is contained in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). This covers all national planning issues, such as planning for housing, shops, offices and good design. The only planning issues on which the Government issues guidance that are not completely covered by the NPPF are planning for waste and some parts of planning for minerals extraction. These issues are covered in separate policy statements.
All local planning policies and decisions on planning applications must take what the NPPF says about different types of land use into account. It is the main statement of Government policy on how development should happen in England.
The topics covered by the NPPF are:
Government policy on planning for waste, and more detail on planning for minerals, is still included in the old style Planning Policy Statements (PPSs) and Planning Policy Guidance notes (PPGs). As of March 2012 all other PPSs and PPGs have been completely replaced by the NPPF.
You can read the PDF version of the NPPF here (PDF, 870Kb).
More briefing information from CPRE on what the NPPF's policies mean for planning decisions on the ground can be found here, on our main website.