Monday, 20 October 2014

Welsh Government confirm planning white paper

The Welsh Government has confirmed it will publish its white paper and draft planning reform bill next year.

It will draw on a report, Planning in Wales, that was published earlier this month to develop the white paper.

The independent advisory group report made a number of recommendations, including:

  • preparation of a national framework within which local planning authorities deliver local development plans
  • the introduction of a statutory framework for strategic planning at a level above individual local planning authorities
  • the establishment of a planning advisory and improvement body.

Making his announcement on Monday Welsh environment minister John Griffiths said: ‘In these tough times the Welsh Government is fully committed to creating sustainable growth and jobs and we have always been clear that a reformed planning system has an important role to play in supporting sustainable economic recovery here in Wales.

‘Last year we announced that we would be bringing forward a planning bill in this assembly term which would allow us to introduce primary legislation to reform the Welsh planning system. I can now confirm I will be publishing a white paper and draft planning reform bill during 2013.’

The advisory group looked at 110 pieces of evidence and met around 100 stakeholders to draw together its conclusions, he added. ‘I now wish to build on the group’s evidence based vision for a reformed planning system,’ the minister said.

The Welsh Government is also progressing planning reform measures that do not require legislation, which include a planning application improvement project and a revised version of Planning Policy Wales - guidance on the preparation and content of development plans.

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