Planning, building and the environment

About planning, building and the environment

We are the Government Department responsible for planning policy and building regulations in England.

Planning shapes the places where people live and work and the country we live in.

Good planning ensures that we get the right development, in the right place, at the right time. It makes a positive difference to people's lives and helps to provide homes, jobs, and better opportunities for everyone. At the same time, it protects and enhances the natural and historic environment, and conserves the countryside and open spaces that are important to everyone.

As part of our role to protect and enhance the environment, we are working to tackle climate change - one of the most serious challenges facing us today. The Government's target is to bring about a 20 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2010 and a 80 per cent reduction by 2050.

In this section you can find out more about what we do on:

  • Planning our role in setting national planning policy, simplifying the planning system and getting communities involved
  • Building Regulations - how this differs from planning permission and what the regulations cover
  • The Environment - how we can protect and enhance the environment through the planning system

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