The publication of 'Development control - A Charter guide' was announced by junior housing minister Tony Baldry, Welsh Office Minister Gwilym Jones, and National Planning Forum Chairman Jim Swanwick.
Mr Baldry said: 'Today marks a further important step on the path to putting the principles behind the Citizen's Charter into practice, and to raising the quality of public service. Local authorities receive over half a million applications for planning permission each year. Citizens have the right to have their applications treated with fairness, courtesy, openness and efficiency.'
Mr Jones said: 'Local people have a right to be informed about proposed new developments and to have some say in the decision making process. It is therefore important that they are aware of what is involved and how decisions are taken.'
Mr Swanwick said: 'This guide is a further step in bringing the planning system closer to the people it serves. We look forward to the day when every local planning authority in England and Wales issues its own Charter guide defining local standards of service.'
Copies of the guide are available from the local government associations.