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Development Management

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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.

We have already taken forward a programme of change to support a culture of development management and the Planning (Wales) Act 2015 includes a number of provisions to reinforce this approach.

The act introduces a requirement for pre application engagement ('frontloading') for certain large and significant applications such as Developments of National Significance and other major developments. This will provide a statutory basis for early, meaningful and effective engagement to ensure communities and other consultees can more readily influence development proposals.

There will be two elements to the pre-application procedure:

  • pre application consultation – this will introduce a statutory requirement for engagement with the public and other consultees on certain applications
  • pre application services – this will set a minimum national standard and allow a prospective developer and local planning authority to discuss a project before it is submitted.

These formalised arrangements will help to identify potential improvements to proposals at an early stage, enable any issues to be resolved and avoid any abortive work. This in turn will create a more efficient planning procedure.

At present, there is no notification requirement before planning permission is implemented. Often, local residents are only aware of any development when activity starts on site. The act includes a number of provisions to improve this process. Decision Notices become ‘live’ documents that are updated to reflect changes. This will make it easier for developers, local planning authorities and residents to identify the scope of the planning permission and any conditions. Developers will be required to notify the local planning authority when the development will begin will begin by means of a Notification of Development and to display a copy of the planning permission at or near the site.

Currently, there is a wide variation in planning committee arrangements. The size, membership, regularity and training for members vary significantly. The act includes a provision to achieve a more consistent and efficient approach to procedures used to decide planning applications. The Welsh Ministers will have the power to prescribe the size and make up of planning committees and to establish a national scheme of delegation to provide consistency in terms of applications considered by planning committees.

The Planning (Wales) Act will also require local planning authorities to take the Welsh language into account when determining planning applications, so far as they are material to the application.