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Laws and Regulations


The legal framework for Planning in the United Kingdom is provided by the following Acts of Parliament:

Town And Country Planning Act 1990

This provides the basis of current legislation, it remains largely in force, but was later partly amended by the Planning and Compensation Act 1991.

Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990

This provides further, more detailed information on how and why Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas are protected.

Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004

This Act partially replaced the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, it brought in a new system of development planning, replacing the Local Plan and Unitary Development Plan (UDP) system with Local Development Frameworks (LDF).

Planning Act 2008

An Act that establishes the Infrastructure Planning Commission, a body that will oversee the development of nationally significant infrastructure projects. The Act also provides the basis for the creation of the Community Infrastructure Levy, a charge that can be placed on development proposals to deliver locally needed facilities and infrastructure.

Freedom of Information Act 2000

This is a general piece of legislation that often has a link to the Planning process as it provides the right for members of the public to request information from councils and other public bodies.


While the Acts of Parliament provide the basis in law for the planning system, it is the Regulations that provide the detailed 'rules' that are used everyday. The Regulations can also be known as Statutory Instruments (SI); the main Planning Regulations in force are:

Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 (SI 1995 No. 418)

These regulations provide the general rules that explain what types of development are considered 'Permitted Development' and what development would need planning permission. Since these regulations came into force, there have been amendments from time to time to these general rules; the details of these amendments are included below:

The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) Order 1998 (SI 1998 No. 462)

These regulations dealt with changes to permitted development rights for telecommunications equipment and small satellite dishes.

The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) Order 2008 (SI 2008 No. 675)

These regulations dealt with changes to permitted development rights for household power generation equipment such as solar cells and wind turbines.

Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment No.2) (England) Order 2008 (SI 2008 No. 2362)

These regulations introduced a new system of permitted development rights for private householders. Information on the new permitted development rights can be obtained here.

Town & Country Planning (Control of Advertisement) Regulations 2007 (SI 2007 No. 783)

These regulations set out the rules for the display of advertisements and the need for advertising consent. The Department for Communities and Local Government has produced a guide for advertisers that can be found here.

Copies of these Acts and their accompanying regulations can also be downloaded from http://www.legislation.gov.uk/


Other Government Planning Policy

The Development Plan

Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas