For Sale POA
New procedures for planning applications in Wales
Published October 13th, 2016
The planning systems in England and Wales continue to diverge and if you have experience of submitting applications in both England and Wales you will no doubt be aware of differences such as those in the development plan system, planning application fees and use classes orders.
However, one change that you may not have picked up on, but which has significant implications for those submitting ‘major’ applications in Wales, is that from the 1st August 2016 major planning applications in Wales need to be accompanied by a Pre-Application Consultation (PAC) Report. The PAC report should detail the publicity and consultation undertaken with the public, the community and specialist consultees on a planning application prior to its submission and how any issues raised have been addressed.
The impact of this requirement is significant given that ‘major’ planning applications include those for development proposals as small as 10 dwellinghouses or a building with a floor space of 1,000 square metres.
The aim of the new requirement is to provide a 28 day consultation period within which third parties may submit comments on a proposed development, and may therefore potentially influence the development proposal, prior to the submission of a planning application. In providing this opportunity it is hoped that any subsequent planning application would be met more favourably and be determined in a shorter timescale.
Nonetheless, the requirement does add to the time taken, and the work required, to submit a ‘major’ planning application in Wales and, having spoken to a number of Local Planning Authorities in Wales, I am aware that many applicants have already fallen foul of this new requirement with numerous applications not being validated due to the lack of an appropriate PAC report.
Whilst this is still a relatively new, given its significant implications, Berrys has already put systems in place to assist developers to meet this legal requirement of major planning applications in Wales, thereby ensuring efficient and effective outcomes.