The Minister for Housing and Local Government, Julie James has today announced work has begun on the creation of a new separate, dedicated planning inspectorate for Wales.
At present, responsibility for making decisions and recommendations on a range of land use planning-related issues lies with the Planning Inspectorate for England and Wales.
It is an executive agency, which is funded by and reports to the Welsh Government and the Ministry of Housing and Local Government.
The Inspectorate’s Wales Division, which is based in Cardiff, manages casework on planning and related applications and appeals, including Developments of National Significance. It also examines Local Development Plans (LDPs), which set out land use planning policies and are the basis of local planning decisions, using a team of dedicated Welsh Inspectors and administrators.
The new planning inspectorate for Wales is expected to be fully operational by the end of the current Assembly term. In the meantime, to ensure there is a smooth transition to the new service, existing applications for infrastructure schemes and planning appeals, will continue to be looked at by the Planning Inspectorate for England and Wales.
Julie James said:
“Planning law and policy has diverged and continues to diverge at an accelerating rate from England, in order to meet the unique needs of communities and businesses in Wales.
“We are also moving forward to consolidate and unify planning law in Wales to form a separate Welsh planning Code.
“For these reasons, I have instructed officials to begin work on a separate, dedicated service for Wales.”