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Our role in plan preparation

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Urgent clarification of planning policies and procedures.
Information about planning policy in Wales.

When preparing a development plan (LDP), local planning authorities (LPAs) must take into account national planning policy.

National planning policy and advice is covered by:

  • Planning Policy Wales (PPW)
  • Minerals Planning Policy Wales (MPPW)
  • Technical Advice Notes (TAN's)
  • Minerals Technical Advice Notes (MTAN's)
  • Circular Letters.

We provide support and advice to local planning authorities during the plan preparation process. We encourage local planning authorities to progress with their local development plans, and give advice to ensure that the local development plan is sound. It is for each local planning authority to take this advice on board.

We respond to the consultations that the LPA hold on each LDP. We ensure that the LDP follows national planning policy. If the authority has not adequately justified their reasons for this, we would make representations during the consultations. Following a representation we then discuss with local planning authorities how to address our concerns and options on how to move forward.

Housing numbers

Statistics on population and household forecasts are available in Welsh Government’s Statistics. These projections are a starting point to help authorities consider what their future housing need may be.

LPAs can deviate from our projections but must explain why they have done so with valid reasons. We provide local authorities with the model that we use and the assumptions to enable them to input their own figures if they consider more local information should be used to assist in preparing the plan for their area.

The projections are part of the evidence supporting a plan. A LPA should reflect on what may happen in the future and plan accordingly. They will need to consider:

  • what level of growth is needed to support the vision an authority has
  • the relationship between homes and jobs
  • patterns of movement
  • environmental opportunities
  • any other relevant issues.

A sustainable approach, which gives evidence to support its conclusion is essential.  

Local Development Plan refinement work

We have refined the local development plan process.  The changes build on good practice, experience and lessons learnt so the LDP process is more efficient and effective without imposing unnecessary prescription. Amended Regulations came into force on 28 August 2015 (S.I.2015/1598(W.197).