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Study to Examine the Planning Application Process in Wales

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The Minister for the Environment, Sustainability and Housing announced a comprehensive review of the operation of the planning application process in December 2008. The completed Research Study examines the barriers to the efficient delivery of timely planning decisions and identifies good practice and makes a number of recommendations.

The research was carried out between September 2009 and April 2010 by GVA Grimley to support our review of the planning application process in Wales. It was guided by an independent Research Steering Group made up of representatives from the public, private and voluntary sectors.

The Research Study is presented in two parts. The first records the key findings on the current operation of the process. These come from a questionnaire sent to each of the 25 Local Planning Authorities in Wales and from focus group sessions involving the public, private and third sectors from across Wales. The findings also draw on:

  • experience and research from within and outside Wales;
  • appraisals of case studies; 
  • two dissemination events held in north and south Wales; and 
  • written comments submitted to the review and from the public consultation exercise held between 8 March 2010 and 8 April 2010 on a draft version of the research study.

The second part of the report identifies 16 recommendations. These are designed to deliver a more efficient and consistent planning service that will help sustainable economic development in Wales and meet our commitment to sustainable development.

We have considered the recommendations of the Research Study. The document below sets out our response to the recommendations and the timescales for taking forward the recommended improvements.