Town and Country Planning (Strategic Development Plan) (Wales) Regulations 2021 – Law Society response

The proposals

The Welsh government consulted on their policy approach for establishing the regulations on the procedure for preparing strategic development plans (SDPs) and associated matters.

The Regulations will be called the Town and Country Planning (Strategic Development Plan) (Wales) Regulations 2021 and will establish the procedure for SDPs to be prepared across Wales by corporate joint committees (CJCs).

Our view

We believe it reasonable for the strategic development plan (SDP) Regulations to broadly mirror the requirements set out in the Local Development Plan (LDP) Regulations. This will ensure consistency of approach and will be easier for all interested parties to follow as they will be using existing practices.

However, given the potential complexity of the plan, its geographical remit and the depth of topics required to be covered, we have reservations that if the timescales are imported from the current LDP Regulations these will not be sufficient and could place unreasonable demands on all those involved.

It’s important to bear in mind the recent planning white paper in England as well as the consultation on changes to the current planning system which include proposed review of environmental assessments.

Brexit and the transposition of international and European obligations may also have potential consequences for these proposed regulations.

We would welcome clarification as to whether heritage bodies would be included as one of those bodies that would usually be consulted with regards to planning strategy/applications.

We support the principle that in Wales, the Welsh language should be treated no less favourably than the English language and that people in Wales should be able to live their lives through the medium of the Welsh language if they choose to do so.

Next steps

This consultation closed on 4 January 2021.

Read the consultation on the GOV.WALES website

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