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Planning (Wales) Act 2015

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Thank you for your views on the draft Planning Bill and our proposals to modernise the Planning system in Wales.
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The Planning (Wales) Act gained Royal Assent on 6 July 2015.

The act (external link) sets out a series of legislative changes to deliver reform of the planning system in Wales, to ensure that it is fair, resilient and enables development.
The act addresses 5 key objectives:

  • a modernised framework for the delivery of planning services – the act introduces powers to allow planning applications to be made directly to Welsh Ministers in limited circumstances
  • strengthening the plan led approach – the act introduces a legal basis for the preparation of a National Development Framework and Strategic Development Plans
  • improved resilience – the act will allow the Welsh Ministers to direct local planning authorities to work together and for local planning authorities to be merged
  • frontloading and improving the development management system – the act will introduce a statutory pre application procedure for defined categories of planning application
  • enabling effective enforcement and appeals – the act enables changes to enforcement procedures to secure prompt, meaningful action against breaches of planning control and increase the transparency and efficiency of the appeal system.
Taken together with proposed changes to secondary legislation, policy and guidance, the act will:
  • support delivery of the homes, jobs and infrastructure that Wales requires
  • provide opportunities to protect and enhance our most important built and natural environments
  • support the use of the Welsh language.
Building on and amending existing primary legislation, the principal provisions are contained in the following sections:
  • Sustainable Development
  • Development Planning
  • Applications for Welsh Ministers
  • Development Management
  • Enforcement and Appeals
  • Town and Village Greens.

We have produced a document which explains the links between the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, the Planning (Wales) Act 2015 and the Environment (Wales) Bill. This was produced during the drafting and scrutiny of the respective items of legislation.