The planning system in England and Wales is plan-led. This means that planning authorities create long-term spatial plans for how an area will develop. Once adopted, all planning decisions made by local authorities must follow the plan for the area, unless other material considerations apply.
The planning system is needed to control development in local areas. Local planning authorities (LPAs) are responsible for deciding whether a development - anything from an extension on a house to a new shopping centre - should go ahead. In Hertfordshire the LPA is the district or borough council.
Planning matters in a region are managed by a regional planning body. Each regional planning body has to produce a Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS), which will outline the spatial plans for the area and feed into local plans.
This page last updated: 16-01-2009