National and Regional Documents

The Government has published the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) March 2012 which sets out the planning policies for England and how these are expected to be applied.


  • The NPPF explains the relationship between planning policies and other policies which have an important bearing on issues of development and land use. Local authorities must take the contents into account in preparing their development plan documents. The guidance is also relevant to decisions on individual planning applications and appeals. 
  • Current national policy and guidance can be viewed on the Planning Portal website.


  • The South West Regional Spatial Strategy is due to be withdrawn in the Localism Bill but remains a material consideration in planning decisions and in the policies and proposals of the Local Plan.
  • The Regional Economic Strategy was published by the South West Regional Development Agency and has informed the development of the South Somerset Local Plan. The agency closed on 31st March 2012.
  • The South West Observatory draws together research, resources and analysis from a network of experts across policy themes and from different local areas in the South West to build a clearer understanding of the issues affecting people living and working in this part of the country and to support and inform policy and decision makers.