Published: Thursday, 9th July 2015
The legislation which makes major changes to the Welsh planning system including a new requirement to consider the implications for the Welsh language obtained Royal Assent this week.
The Planning (Wales) Act 2015 introduces a new legal framework for Welsh ministers to prepare a national land use plan, to be known as the National Development Framework for Wales. This framework will set out national land use priorities and infrastructure requirements.
The Act also makes provision for the production of so-called Strategic Development Plans to tackle larger-than-local cross-boundary issues, such as housing supply and areas for economic growth and regeneration. These will focus on three areas: Cardiff, Swansea and the A55 corridor.
In addition, the Act emphasises the need for pre-application consultation and requires local planning authorities to provide pre-application services.
The new measures also mean that planning applications for nationally-significant projects will be made to Welsh ministers. Applicants for planning permission will also be able to apply to the Welsh ministers for planning permission where a local planning authority is deemed to be poorly performing.
Planning minister Carl Sargeant insisted: “The new law will create a world-class planning system delivering timely, fair and consistent decisions that will enhance the built, natural and historic environment in Wales. It will also complement the framework for sustainable development established through the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and the environment bill.”