The report on the Planning (Wales) Bill by the National Assembly for Wales’s Environment and Sustainability Committee has been published. The Committee recommends the Assembly supports the general principles of the Bill and makes 41 recommendations to the Minister. These include:
Recommendation 2. We recommend that the Minister brings forward an amendment to the Bill to give Place Plans a formal development plan status under Section 38 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 and gives further consideration to how local communities can be given greater opportunities to engage in the preparation of all development plans.
Recommendation 15. We recommend that the Minister leaves the Bill as drafted in relation to National Parks and that he reconsiders his intention to bring forward amendments to give Welsh Ministers the power to create Joint Planning Boards that could in future include whole or part of a National Park.
Recommendation 17. We recommend that the Minister brings forward an amendment to the Bill to specify the length of the consultation period for a draft National Development Framework on the face of the Bill. We recommend that such a period should be longer than 12 weeks.
Recommendation 19. We recommend that the Minister must amend the Bill to require Assembly approval of the National Development Framework.
Recommendation 31. We recommend that the regulations for a national delegation scheme when introduced should follow the model proposed by the Welsh Government’s own research – i.e. a national scheme with some local flexibility, with each local scheme still to be approved by Welsh Ministers.
Recommendation 33. We recommend that the regulations for a national delegation scheme when introduced should require the referral of a planning decision to a committee when a local town or community council objects to an application.
Recommendation 39. We recommend that the Minister retains the primary legislative requirement for Design and Access Statements by removing Section 27 and that associated secondary legislation should be amended to only require statements for larger developments and listed buildings.
Recommendation 40. We recommend that the Minister brings forward the amendments to Schedule 6 (Town and village greens: new Schedule 1B to the Commons Act 2006) of the Bill to remove trigger events, as outlined in his letter to the Chair dated 7 January 2015 at the earliest opportunity.
(Para. 241 241.The Minister has indicated that he is considering introducing amendments that would allow an application for registration of a TVG up until the point that planning permission is granted. This will mean amending Schedule 6 to remove certain ‘trigger’ events. The Minister’s letter of 7 January confirms that the only trigger events that he is proposing to retain are those relating to the granting of planning permission (or its equivalent). This means that applications for registration of a TVG on a site identified in the NDF, or in an adopted SDP or LDP will still be possible.1)
More information and the full report: Environment and Sustainability Committee (2015) Planning (Wales) Bill. Stage 1 Committee Report National Assembly for Wales