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Terms of reference, scope and governance

The review will identify future options for the institutional structures to deliver the planning system in Wales taking into account Welsh Government policy priorities.

Terms of reference

The review should:

  • 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.  This should include consideration of what should be delivered where in the institutional hierarchy and may include suggesting new institutional arrangements.


This review should build on earlier work to provide part of the evidence base for a planning White Paper due to be published during 2013.  It will gather evidence on how best to allocate roles and responsibilities to ensure that Welsh Government policies are delivered by the planning system in a timely, transparent and democratically accountable way taking into account the increasingly complex demands being placed on it.

The review will consider the future role and responsibilities of the Welsh Government (including the Planning Inspectorate), local planning authorities, statutory consultees and town and community councils.  This will include considering whether development plans should be prepared at a level above the current local planning authority level and whether there is a case for defined categories of major planning applications to be determined by a higher tier of government than is currently the case.


A steering board chaired by the Deputy Director Planning will meet periodically with the independent reviewer, John Davies, to provide direction to the project team on scope and conduct of the review. Members of the steering board have been drawn from key stakeholders.  Planning Division have provided the secretariat for the review.