Posted: Thu 3rd Mar 2016

Flagship reform to planning process underway

This article is old - Published: Thursday, Mar 3rd, 2016

New legislation under the Planning (Wales) Act comes into force today which will ensure that infrastructure projects which are of most significance to Wales are determined at the national level and are made directly to the Welsh Ministers, rather than the local planning authority. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The provisions in the Act (external link), as well as associated subordinate legislation, establish a new process for the consenting of Developments of National Significance (DNS). ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

This process, which marks a flagship reform to the planning system, will ensure timely decision-making, particularly on renewable energy projects as well as other nationally significant developments in Wales. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

It will create certainty for developers and communities, and help stimulate economic growth. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Natural Resources Minister Carl Sargeant said: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“The DNS projects include energy projects with a generating capacity of between 10MW and 50MW, airports, railway infrastructure, dams and reservoirs, and other types of development requiring planning permission which are considered to be of national significance. I’m also planning to expand the thresholds to capture all onshore wind projects above 10MW. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“ The DNS process forms a key part of my ‘Green Growth’ agenda. Larger scale renewable energy projects, which this process captures, are vital to delivering further reductions in carbon emissions and sustainable development objectives, thus boosting the Welsh economy. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Inclusion of these projects within this process will improve the timeliness of decision-making, improve the quality of decision-making and create an environment of certainty for developers and communities.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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