Lesley Griffiths AM, Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs

First published:
5 December 2018
Last updated:

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Edition 10 of Planning Policy Wales (PPW), which is being published today, puts the concept of placemaking into the heart of national planning policy. This ensures planning decisions consider all aspects of well-being and deliver new development which is sustainable and provides for the needs of all people.

PPW has been completely reworked to take account of the Well-being of Future Generations Act. The 7 well-being goals and 5 ways of working provide links through the document which is now based around 4 themes (Strategic and Spatial Choices; Active and Social Places; Productive and Enterprising Places; and Distinctive and Natural Places). Together these promote placemaking with a view to achieving sustainable places.

The policy content of PPW has also been updated to deliver wider Welsh Government objectives. Our commitment to decarbonisation has been enshrined in PPW by the promotion of walking and cycling through the planning system and the introduction of an energy hierarchy. This promotes renewable energy generation whilst seeking to resist fossil fuel extraction, including fracking.

Aligned to this, today I have issued a Notification Direction requiring Local Planning Authorities to notify the Welsh Government if they intend to approve applications for new coal and petroleum developments. PPW sets the policy framework against which these applications will be determined. 

The publication of PPW is a small, but important, step in delivering placemaking. The Welsh Government, Local Planning Authorities, developers and other stakeholders all have a role to play in ensuring this principle is turned to reality.  We all have our part to play in delivering high quality development which enriches lives for the better. Planners must, once again, become creators of better places, rather than regulators of others proposals.

My officials will be considering the ways in which we can work with the sector to help to deliver this change. We will take a more robust approach to ensure the principles of PPW are applied in practice. This will include considering how our approach to intervention should be used for those schemes which do not clearly evidence the principles of placemaking.

I want the new PPW to be a catalyst for change in the planning profession in Wales. Now, when many Local Planning Authorities are reviewing their LDPs, is the time to introduce this change so that it can be captured in new local planning policies. The publication of PPW should not give cause for a delay in bringing revised LDPs forward.