The purpose of the planning system is to manage the development and use of land in the public interest. It needs to ensure economy, efficiency and amenity in the use of land and reconcile the needs of development and conservation, whilst also protecting natural resources and the historic environment.
Local Planning Authorities are responsible for enforcing the planning system and deciding whether a development - anything from an extension on a house to a new shopping centre - should go ahead.
The Welsh Government is implementing a programme of improvements to support and deliver a positive, enabling and resilient planning system for Wales.
This guide outlines how the planning system works in Wales.