Town and country planning in Wales

Town and country planning in Wales

Town and country planning in Wales is based on the land use planning system which applies throughout the United Kingdom. However, the system in Wales has some distinctive features which have arisen because substantial responsibility for town and country planning has been devolved to the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG).

Overall planning policy in Wales

The context for planning policy in Wales is contained within two main documents, "Planning Policy Wales", which provides guidance on the preparation and content of development plans and advice on development control decisions and appeals; and "Minerals Planning Policy Wales", which gives guidance for the extraction of all minerals and other substances in, on or under land. Taken together with supporting documents, these cover the same broad areas as Planning Policy Statements in England.

They are supplemented by a series of topic-based "Technical Advice Notes" (TANs) and "Minerals Technical Advice Notes" (MTANs). Changes or updates to planning policy are issued in "Ministerial Interim Planning Policy Statements" (MIPPs). Circular letters provide advice and guidance on specific topics. [ [ Welsh Assembly Government | Policy and guidance ] ]

Wales Spatial Plan

The Wales Spatial Plan [] was published by the Welsh Assembly in 2004. It performs a similar role to Regional Spatial Strategies in England, but also sets out a wider-ranging spatial vision and strategy. It was intended to :
*"Provide a clear framework for future collaborative action involving the Welsh Assembly Government and its agencies, local authorities, the private and voluntary sectors to achieve the priorities it sets out nationally and regionally"
*"Influence the location of expenditure by the Assembly Government and its agencies"
*"Influence the mix and balance of public sector delivery agencies’ programmes in different areas"
*"Set the context for local and community planning"
*"Provide a clear evidence base for the public, private and voluntary sectors develop policy and action"

An update to the Wales Spatial Plan, "People, Places, Futures", was published for consultation in early 2008. It sets a vision for how each part of Wales should develop economically, socially and environmentally over the next 20 years and will guide the way the Assembly Government spends its money over the coming years. [ [ Welsh Assembly Government | People, Places, Futures: The Wales Spatial Plan 2008 Update Consultation ] ]

There are six spatial plan areas to represent regional perspectives in Wales. Each area group is chaired by a cabinent minister. [ [ Wales Spatial Plan] ] The areas are:
*Central Wales
*North East Wales - Border and Coast
*North West Wales – Eryri a Môn
*Pembrokeshire – The Haven
*South East Wales – Capital Network
*Swansea Bay – Waterfront and Western Valleys

Local Development Plans

Following the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, each unitary authority in Wales is required to prepare a local development plan (LDP) for its area. These will replace the previous unitary development plans (UDPs), and will become the sole development plans for each council and National Park. Authorities in Wales must have regard to WAG planning policy documents, including the Wales Spatial Plan, in preparing LDPs. Unlike the LDF arrangement in England, the LDP will be a single document, setting out strategy as well as site-specific and development control policies. [ [ Welsh Assembly Government | Local Development Plans Wales ] ]


External links

* [ Welsh Assembly Government]
* [ Planning Portal for England and Wales]
* [ Planning Inspectorate Wales]
* [ Royal Town Planning Institute in Wales]
* [ Planning Aid Wales]

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