The main aim of Planning is to achieve sustainability - this means balancing different social, environmental and economic issues when decisions are made on whether land is developed or not. Planners determine how land should be used and where buildings should be built, what they should be used for and how they should fit into the local surroundings. Planners use national and local policies to consider development in its context and may look at the impact of development on neighbours and the wider community, and existing or proposed infrastructure (such as drainage, transport and schools).
Building Control applies national statutory regulations to ensure the structural quality of any building work, in areas such as safety, public health, accessibility, and the materials used. Most substantial building projects (such as an extensions, knocking down walls or converting a garage or loft) will need Building Regulations approval.