The Law Commission, independent law reform adviser to the government, has announced a review of Welsh planning law.
Planning law in England and Wales is complicated and difficult to understand. It is still rooted in 1940s legislation and has developed in a piecemeal way ever since. It has not been consolidated for almost 25 years. Following devolution, the picture has become even more complicated in Wales. Some but not all recent English planning law applies in Wales, while some laws have been passed by the Welsh Government that are specific to Wales. The system is difficult for legal professionals and the public to understand and costly for individuals, communities, businesses and local planning authorities to use.
The Law Commission’s review will examine the problems with the current law, with a view to recommending a more simpler, clearer and easier-to-use system that reflects the needs of modern Wales. The main focus is the reform of the development control process, and the relationship between this and plan-making.
The Law Commission is conducting the project as part of its new 12th Programme of Law Reform. It is the first time that a Law Commission programme has included projects devoted entirely to the law in Wales. Work will start in summer 2014 and they expect to publish their report, with recommendations for reform and a draft Bill, in summer 2017. For more information: The Law Commission: Planning and development control in Wales