Last edited 02 Mar 2016

Welsh planning policy


[edit] Introduction

According to the Welsh government, ‘The planning system manages the development and use of land in the public interest, contributing to the achievement of sustainable development. It should reconcile the needs of development and conservation, securing economy, efficiency and amenity in the use of land, and protecting natural resources and the historic environment.’

The Welsh government has the power to create its own primary planning legislation and the Planning (Wales) Act 2015 came into force on 6 July 2015. The key purposes of the Act include:

  • Strengthening the plan-led approach to planning, introducing a new legal framework for the Welsh Ministers to prepare a national land use plan (the National Development Framework for Wales) setting out national land use priorities and infrastructure requirements.
  • Making provision for the production of Strategic Development Plans, to tackle cross-boundary issues, such as housing supply and areas for economic growth and regeneration.
  • Making provision for pre-application consultation.
  • Requiring the provision of pre-application services.
  • Permitting planning applications for nationally-significant projects to be made to the Welsh Ministers.
  • Permitting applicants for planning permission to apply to the Welsh Ministers where a local planning authority is deemed to be poorly performing.
  • Reforming the development management system to streamline procedures, ensuring that applications are dealt with promptly.
  • Improving enforcement and appeal procedures.
  • Introducing changes in relation to the recovery of costs for parties involved in planning cases.
  • Making changes in relation to applications to register town and village greens.

The two main planning policy guidance documents are:

These documents are supplemented by Technical Advice Notes (TAN), Minerals Technical Advice Notes (MTANs), circulars and policy clarification letters. The Wales Spatial Plan, ‘People, Places, Future’ provides a strategic framework and integrates the spatial aspects of national strategies for social inclusion, economic growth, health, transport and the environment.

NB on 27 February 2015, the Wales Office published proposals for further devolution of powers to Wales. Ref Powers for a purpose: Towards a lasting devolution settlement for Wales.

[edit] Planning Policy Wales

Planning Policy Wales is the land use planning policy which should be considered when development plans are prepared. A total of 21 Technical Advice Notes (TAN) supplement the policy. The Technical Advice Notes should be read alongside the planning policy, along with the Ministerial Interim Planning Policy Statements.

The document:

  • Provides an overview of the planning system and the context for planning in Wales.
  • Describes the main policy objectives and principles.
  • Outlines policies regarding key subject areas.
  • Provides guidance for the application of national planning policy statements in local development plans.

[edit] Minerals Planning Policy

The Minerals Planning Policy outlines land use guidance in relation to mineral extraction and associated development.

[edit] Planning applications

The local planning authorities are responsible for determining planning applications in their area. Every local planning authority must prepare a local development plan (LDP) for its area. This should provide the basis for rational and consistent decisions on planning applications and appeals.

Applications should be determined in accordance with the local development plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise. There should be a presumption in favour of sustainable development.

[edit] Reform

In June 2015, Welsh public service minister Leighton Andrews published proposals to reduce the number of local authorities from 22 to eight or nine. Ref Planning Portal 18 June 2015.

On 1 March 2016, new legislation under the Planning (Wales) Act came into force to ensure the most significant infrastructure projects are determined at the national level and are made directly to the Welsh Ministers, rather than the local planning authority.

[edit] Find out more

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki.

[edit] External references