Law and policy
Each nation is separately responsible for planning and development in the UK. Below are links to websites of the national government bodies providing planning policy and planning practice guidance.
The Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities is the main government department responsible for planning and development. However, its work also includes investing in local areas, delivering housing, and overseeing local government and building safety. It works with 15 agencies and public bodies, including such as the Planning Inspectorate. You can browse an A-Z guide of relevant planning and development including information on planning applications, appeals and also associated matters such as building regulations here. The National Planning Policy Framework (2021) sets out the planning policy for England.
NI Direct is the government department in Northern Ireland that manages planning and development. It explains that in Northern Ireland “[t]he planning system ensures built development is in the right place when new houses, shops, parks, community centres or factories are planned. Eleven local councils and the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) are responsible for different types of planning applications.”
The Scottish Government’s Local Government and Housing Directorate is responsible for Scotland's planning system including the development and implementation of national policy on planning, architecture and place. It explains that planning applications and appeals can be made on the ePlanning scot website.
Planning and development falls within the Planning Directorate of the Welsh Government although its online access falls within the area of building and planning. The work of the Planning Directorate includes developing national policy such as the national development framework: Future Wales: the national plan 2040 and other policy such as Planning Policy Wales (2021).