04 AUGUST 2016
One of the most significant changes to Welsh Planning Law came into force on the 1st of this month. Major planning applications now require a statutory pre-application consultation process including a draft application package for public consultation 28 days prior to actual submission. It is hoped the process will secure greater certainty around planning decisions by front loading applications from an early outset, so as to achieve shorter timescales to determination. This is part of a suite of changes to the planning system in Wales aimed at ‘Positive Planning’; requiring a cultural step change from simply regulating and controlling development, to one that actively encourages, supports and manages development more effectively.
Other key legislative changes which came into force last March include the introduction of a fast appeals process against non-validation of applications, in addition to the requirement for developers to notify Local Planning Authorities of its intention to commence development following confirmation of the discharge of all pre-commencement conditions. It remains to be seen how these changes will speed the decision making process. We will be monitoring client reactions and application experiences over the next few months.
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