Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Welsh planners promised cash under ‘recovery ready’ review

  • Comment

The Welsh Assembly Government is to pump £1.75 million into the country’s planning system, Environment minister Jane Davidson will announce later today as she unveils a wider review of the planning application process

The news come just days after it emerged Housing Minister Margaret Beckett intended to cut government help for English planning authorities by around £75 million, over the next two years, by slashing the housing and delivery grant.

Speaking at the Royal Town Planning Instutute Cymru Annual Conference in Cardiff (2 June), Davidson will pledge £70,000 to all 25 local authorities and a further £250,000 to support ‘cross-Wales activity’. The cash handout is part of a package to simplify and speed up the planning application process and to ensure the system is ‘ready for the economic upturn.’

She told the AJ: ‘I want to see improvements to streamline the [process]…and identify any blockages and potential areas of improvement.’

‘I want to ensure that those regulatory systems for which I am responsible are contributing constructively to economic recovery in Wales.’

The announcement has been welcomed by practices working in Wales. Gary Loo, director at Cardiff-based Boyes Rees Architects said: ‘I’m pleased to see that Wales is looking ahead to the economic upturn to ensure that the construction sector can hit the ground running.

‘In the past we have encountered some problems with delays in the planning process due to the local planning authority struggling for resources.

’ This money [should] be used to increase the number of urban designers for all local authority planning teams, to advise planning case-officers on design matters.

‘This would definitely allow planning applications to be progressed more efficiently.’

Meanwhile Jon Fox, of Capita Symonds, said: ‘It is good news to see that Wales can take proactive steps of its own accord to bring forward a planning system that meets the requirements needs of its customers.

Fox added: ‘However it is equally important that proper planning is maintained and protected, the planning system is an easy target for politicians and it’s good to see that no one is using the phrase “reducing the burden”.

‘Any weakening of standards should be strongly resisted and emphasis on achieving the best outcomes for all should remain paramount.’

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.