Planning is fundamental to the way our cities, towns, villages and countryside look, the way they work and the way they relate to each other.
Good planning can have a huge beneficial effect on the way we live our lives, including on our environmental impacts.
The planning system operates at both a strategic and local site by site level:
- At a strategic level planning shapes the places where people live and work and the country we live in. It plays a key role in supporting the government’s wider social, environmental and economic objectives; all local authorities (districts and unitary authorities like Medway) have to produce a Local Plan setting out priorities and policies for development in relation to issues such as housing (housing delivery is of particular importance), business, infrastructure (such as transport and waste), community facilities and services, and the environment.
- On a site by site basis, planning controls or manages development. Each Local Planning Authority is responsible for deciding whether a development should go ahead, based on ensuring that the planning application complies with current planning policies.
The diagram below depicts key stages in the Local Plan making process: