Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths has set out her vision for planning in Wales.
The Cabinet Secretary explained how planners must play a crucial role in helping the Welsh Government achieve its key targets, including building 20,000 affordable homes, reducing carbon emissions and improving the prosperity of Wales.
During her speech the Cabinet Secretary emphasised the importance of Local and Strategic Development Plans and urged local planning authorities to work together to set out a shared vision across a region to inform and guide important high-profile regeneration initiatives such as City Deal and the Metro.
The Cabinet Secretary described to planners how, by working together with the Welsh Government, she envisages a system that is visionary, evidence based, connected, efficient, and is valued by communities, businesses, politicians and planners.
Addressing the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Wales Conference in Cardiff, the Cabinet Secretary responded to ten “asks” the RTPI recently posed the Welsh Government by setting out five “asks” of her own.
Lesley Griffiths assured the audience that the Welsh Government fully values the important role they play in helping make Wales a more sustainable and prosperous country, She said:
“The planning system has protected our most cherished natural assets and buildings. It has supported the provision of homes and jobs and helped to regenerate our deprived communities and town centres.
“But in many people’s minds, including some planners, senior managers and politicians, planning is only about regulating the activities of others.
“If we want a more sustainable Wales we all need to recognise the value of planning, including the economic value that it creates.
“I have set out my 5 asks of the planning system which I believe we should all sign up to. I look forward to working closely with the RTPI and planners across Wales over the coming years to turn the vision I have described today into reality.”