Planning Act

What is the Planning Act?

The Planning Act sets out the ground rules for land use planning in Ontario and describes how land uses may be controlled, and who may control them.

The Act is legislation passed by your elected provincial representatives to:
  • promote sustainable economic development in a healthy natural environment within a provincial policy framework
  • provide for a land use planning system led by provincial policy
  • integrate matters of provincial interest into provincial and municipal planning decisions by requiring that all decisions shall be consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement when decision-makers exercise planning authority or provide advice on planning matters
  • provide for planning processes that are fair by making them open, accessible, timely and efficient
  • encourage co-operation and coordination among various interests
  • recognize the decision-making authority and accountability of municipal councils in planning.

The province:

  • issues provincial policy statements under the Planning Act
  • prepares provincial plans e.g. Greenbelt Plan and Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2006
  • promotes provincial interests, such as protecting farmland, natural resources and the environment, as well as promoting development that is designed to be sustainable, supportive of public transit and oriented to pedestrians
  • provides one-window planning service to municipalities through the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, the primary provincial contact for advice and information on land use planning issues
  • gives advice to municipalities and the public on land use planning issues
  • administers local planning controls and gives approval where required.

The local municipality:

  • makes local planning decisions that will determine the future of communities
  • prepares planning documents, such as:
  • an official plan, which sets out the municipality's general planning goals and policies that will guide future land use
  • zoning by-laws, which set the rules and regulations that control development as it occurs
  • ensures planning decisions and planning documents are consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement and conform or do not conflict with provincial plans.

The County of Lanark has the authority to approve consents (severances), plans of subdivision and condominium, condominium exemptions and part-lot control by-laws. For further information visit the following link Lanark County - Planning Approvals or contact the County of Lanark at 613-267-4200 and ask for the Planning Department.

Under the Planning Act, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing may, from time to time, issue provincial statements on matters related to land use planning that are of provincial interest.

The Provincial Policy Statement, 2014 (PPS, 2014) contains clear, overall policy directions on matters of provincial interest related to land use planning and development.

Contact Us

Amanda Noël
Planning Administrator / Deputy Clerk
Ext. 231


Lanark Highlands Logo

75 George Street,
PO BOX 340
Lanark, Ontario
K0G 1K0


Hours of Operation:
Monday to Friday - 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.