Protection & planning

Totnes, Devon

Planning advice

Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) By Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) Published 2 October, 2012

Planning shapes our cities, towns and villages. The planning system exists to ensure that all new development integrates the different needs of the community, economy and environment. Planning decisions are normally made by local planning authorities, and are shaped by national guidance, European law and local plans and policies.

About Heritage in Planning

In the National Planning Policy Framework, which sets out planning policies for England, heritage assets are defined as ‘a building, monument, site, place, area or landscape identified as having a degree of significance meriting consideration in planning decisions, because of its heritage interest’.

Development can affect the heritage assets in two main ways:

  • Development in the setting of a heritage asset which might impact on the way in which the heritage asset is experienced.
  • Development of a heritage asset – such as alterations to a listed building or development within a landscape of heritage significance.

The planning application process

In many ways, the planning application process is very straightforward:

  • A planning application is submitted to the local planning authority
  • The planning authority publicises the application by notifying neighbours, and in the case of bigger applications by placing an advert in the newspaper
  • The planning authority seeks the views of important consultees, such as Historic England, on the application
  • The public has a few weeks to comment on the application
  • A decision is made on the application, within eight weeks of it being submitted if it is a smaller application, or thirteen weeks if it qualifies as a ‘major application’
  • The decision takes into account the local and national policies in place, as well as any other relevant issues (‘material considerations’), that may have been raised by the consultees and the public
  • Most planning applications are approved. But if the application is refused, or the approval has conditions on it, the applicant may appeal against the decision to the Secretary of State.

Where to find out more

Understanding the planning system

  • Campaign to Protect Rural England Planning Help
  • Campaign to Protect Rural England Planning Hotline
    Open to CPRE members on Thursdays 1.30pm-3.30pm Telephone: 020 7981 2868

Information about planning permissions and building regulations

Planning advice if you want to make changes to a listed building, scheduled monument or a registered park or garden

Planning Policy

Legal advice about planning

Advice about a specific planning application or proposal

  • Your local council