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Ministerial Intervention - Call In and Notification Development

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Welsh Ministers' planning casework

I want the Minister to intervene in a planning application.

The Minister and Officials cannot comment on, or support or oppose any planning application at any stage. Doing so would prejudice our position were the application to come before us in the future for decision.

The Minister can “call in” a planning application for determination by the Welsh Ministers. Any application can become a call-in request, as long as it has not yet been determined by the local planning authority.

If we have received a request to intervene and we become aware that an application is near to its decision date, we may issue a “holding direction” to prevent the application being determined. We can then consider if the application should, exceptionally, be called in.

Further guidance on the Call In process is available in the related links on the right hand side of this page.

What are applications for “Notification Development”?

Applications for “Notification Development” are planning applications for certain types of development which must be referred to the Welsh Ministers where local planning authorities are minded to approve them.

Applications for Notification Development are:

  • flood risk area development;
  • significant residential development;
  • minerals development;
  • waste development;
  • development which consists of an extraction of aggregates from new or existing sites within a National Park or an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Further guidance on applications for Notification Development is available in the related links on the right hand side of this page.

What kinds of issues would normally be considered justification for “calling in” an application?

The key issue for the Welsh Ministers is whether or not the application raises issues of more than local importance. If it does, then it may be “called in”.

The key issues for “calling in” an application can include:

  • Does it conflict with national planning policies, as set out in ‘Planning Policy Wales’ and the relevant Ministerial Interim Planning Policy Statements?
  • Could it have wide effects beyond the immediate area?
  • Could it give rise to substantial controversy beyond the immediate area?
  • Is it likely to significantly affect sites of scientific, nature conservation or historic interest, or areas of landscape importance?
  • Does it raise issues of national security?
  • Does it raise new planning issues?

An application may be “called in” for other reasons at the Minister’s discretion.

When an application is “called in”, we issue a direction in a letter to the council.

Further guidance on the Call In process is available in the related links on the right hand side of this page.

What happens if the Minister decides to get involved?

We will write to the relevant local planning authority, informing if of the Minister’s intention to call in the application, and requesting all the papers. The Inspector prepares a report, with a recommendation, for the Welsh Government. The Minister then considers this recommendation and a decision issues.

Further Guidance on the Call In process is available in the related links on the right hand side of this page.

I want my Assembly Member (AM) or the Minister to support my argument against a planning application.

The response to this sort of request will normally be “no comment”. Members and Ministers may comment on individual planning applications, but are then excluded from the decision process.

This is because the Members’ Code of Conduct requires its Members to approach a planning decision fairly, impartially and with an open mind.

Members and other Ministers can speak to represent their constituents. However, the Minister cannot take a view on the application in case it comes before her as part of the planning process.