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Independent advisory group looks at planning in Wales

Environment and Sustainable Development Minister, John Griffiths, has announced a review to consider how planning services in Wales should be delivered in the future.
Monday 03 October 2011

The review will be conducted by an independent advisory group under the chairmanship of former Welsh Director of the Planning Inspectorate, John Davies. An announcement on other members of the group will be made shortly.

A call for evidence will be issued this month.

During its review, the group will:

  • Identify the key policy objectives that the planning system is required to deliver now and in the future;
  • Assess existing institutional delivery arrangements, noting areas of good practice and areas in need of improvement; and,
  • Propose options for the future delivery of the planning system, including plan making and development management services.

The group’s recommendations will form part of the evidence base for the Welsh Government’s proposed new Planning Bill.

The Welsh Government’s Legislative Statement 2011-16 includes a commitment to introduce a Planning Bill to consolidate existing legislation and make the planning system more transparent and accessible. A white paper will be published during 2013 which will inform a Planning Bill to be introduced into the Assembly at a later date.

The Minister said:

“The Welsh Government has made significant progress improving the planning system. Since devolution, national planning policies have been put in place to reflect our commitment to deliver sustainable development, economic renewal and affordable homes.

“To assist delivery at local level, a new local development plan system has been introduced. Work is also underway to improve the planning application process.

“I want to ensure that all those with an interest in planning, have an opportunity to feed in their views and for those views to be considered before the Welsh Government brings forward a Planning White Paper during 2013.”

The independent advisory group will deliver its report by June 2012 and making recommendations about:

  • Options for future delivery of the planning system, including a preferred approach;
  • The primary and secondary legislation and policy and guidance necessary to introduce the identified options and preferred approach; and,
  • An assessment, on an all Wales basis, of the resources necessary, in terms of staff numbers and costs, to deliver the identified options and preferred approach.


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