This briefing note details the statutory changes to the planning system in Wales which take effect from the 16th March 2016.

Below sets out the headlines of changes:

  1.  A 28 day pre-application consultation process becomes a statutory requirement for all ‘major’ planning applications for energy, minerals, waste, residential (over 10 units of 0.5ha) and commercial (over 1,00m2 or 1ha) developments. To comply a site notice has to be displayed for and the applicant has to formally write to any owner/occupiers of adjoining land and consult community representatives and Statutory Consultees. All are given a minimum of 28 days to respond before any planning application can be submitted.
  2. After the 1st August a Pre-application Consultation Report (PAC) becomes required for validation with a major application. This will demonstrate how the above requirements have been undertaken and will summarise all issues raised, provide an account of those responses and confirm if the issues have been addressed, and if so, how.
  3. The LPA will be required to provide a pre-application service for a fee ranging from £25 to £1000 for household to large major development. They have 21 days to respond, but the response will no longer be confidential and will be shown on their planning website.
  4.  A charge of £190 for any post –submission amendments to major applications. The LPA will have 4 weeks to consider the new information.
  5. Introduction of “live” decision notices which will be amended each time a subsequent consent is granted such as a Section 73 application. Each amended decision notice will have a new reference number and if any further amendments are made it will have to reference the correct decision notice.
  6. An applicant can appeal against an LPA decision that an application is invalid, provided that they appeal to PINS within 2 weeks. The Welsh Government will reach their decision in a target of 21 days.
  7. The developer has to notify the LPA when the development commences and display the planning consent and a plan of the development on a site notice whilst construction takes place.

Please feel free to email for any further information, advice or clarification.