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Quinquennial Review and Evaluation of the Wales Planning Research Programme - Final Report to the Welsh Assembly Government

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The Wales Planning Research Programme (WPRP) is intended to support the research needs of planning policy development in Wales. The WPRP's activities have been carried out based on a Scoping Study completed in 2000.

The aim of the Programme according to the Study is:

"to support the Assembly's objectives for the planning system by engaging in research which will guide development of sustainable and effective planning policy, facilitate guidance on good practice and ensure the monitoring and evaluation of planning policy and its associated implications."

Over the five years since the Scoping Study was developed a number of institutional and policy changes have taken place and therefore the context within which Wales Planning Policy operates has now changed. These changes include:

  • Responsibility for spatial planning research has been transferred to the Assembly's Strategic Policy Unit, to support the Wales Spatial Plan work;
  • The Welsh Assembly Government's corporate policies have evolved; and,
  • Strands of research relating to minerals and waste have been undertaken using ringfenced funds from the WPRP.

It is now opportune to evaluate and review the WPRP. The Client's brief for this study sets out the following remit:

  • Consider whether the objectives as set out in the Scoping Study have been met;
  • Explore how the research undertaken has either influenced or translated into policy; and
  • Provide pointers for the next five year research programme.

The aim of the review is:

"To evaluate the Wales Planning Research Programme in the light of the Assembly's strategic policies to provide draft objectives and themes for the 2005-2011 period."

The study is based on a combination of desk research and stakeholder consultations. This work has included:

  • A review of the corporate Assembly policy framework and specific planning policy development;
  • A review of the Programme's management and research projects supported;
  • A detailed desk review of a selection of ten research projects funded by the Programme;
  • A review of the future policy environment for which the WPRP will need to consider;
  • A review of the Programme's administration arrangements; and,
  • The interim findings were discussed at two round table workshops – one with Assembly officials and a second with external stakeholders.