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Applications for Welsh Ministers

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Thank you for your views on the draft Planning Bill and our proposals to modernise the Planning system in Wales.
We want your views on our detailed proposals for the new pre-application procedures that are provided for in the Planning (Wales) Bill.
We plan to make an order under section 203 of the Planning Act 2008.
Read our proposals to change the fees that accompany a planning application.
We want your views on our proposals to reform planning committees and introduce a national scheme of delegation.
We want your views on how we can support our national planning policy on design and facilitate the delivery of good design through the planning system.
This circular provides contemporary guidance and references to legislation, as well as an updated list of model conditions to promote best practice in Wales.

The Planning (Wales) Act 2015 enables the Welsh Ministers to receive and determine planning applications in limited circumstances.

The act makes provision for a new category of development to be known as Developments of National Significance. The types of applications to be handled under this process are those of greatest significance to Wales in terms of their potential impacts. These will include energy projects between 25-50 megawatts. Planning applications that fall under this category will be able to be submitted to the Welsh Ministers in the first instance. The Welsh Ministers will be required to determine this category of application within a specified period and to publish an annual report on their performance. These proposals will be subject to pre-application notification and consultation in order to discuss and resolve any issues before the application is made. This provision will ensure that national priorities and local concerns can be fully explored during the decision making process.

Across Wales, over 90% of planning applications are granted consent and many local planning authorities determine over 80% of applications within an 8 week period. Local planning authorities will continue to decide the vast majority of planning applications. However, there is significant variation in performance among authorities. The Welsh Ministers will have a power to designate a local planning authority as poorly performing and to revoke such designation at any time based on defined criteria. Where a local planning authority has been designated, applicants will be able to submit certain types of planning applications to the Welsh Ministers.