Government planning policy is contained in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). This covers all national planning issues, such as planning for housing, shops, offices and good design. The only planning issues on which the Government issues guidance that are not completely covered by the NPPF are planning for waste and some parts of planning for minerals extraction. These issues are covered in separate policy statements.

Government policy on planning for waste is covered by a separate waste Planning Policy Statement (PPS). The NPPF does include policies on minerals extraction, but separate Minerals Planning Guidance notes (MPGs) add more detail.

Like the NPPF, this PPS and the MPGs must be taken account of by local policies and decision making.

The National Planning Practice Guidance (NPPG) is a web-based resource which brings together planning guidance on various topics into one place. It was launched in March 2014 and coincided with the cancelling of the majority of Government Circulars which had previously given guidance on many aspects of planning. It is important to note that the guidance is exactly that, guidance, and should not be seen as representing Government policy. To view the NPPG please visit the dedicated website.