Wales planning news, October 2021


Wales planning news, October 2021

08 Oct 2021



Headline news


New coastal erosion and flooding advice for planning

The Welsh Government has introduced new planning policy advice on flooding and coastal erosion risks which comes into effect for decisions taken after 1 December 2021. Replacing the current advice notes, the combined Technical Advice Note (TAN) 15: Development, flooding and coastal erosion aims to inform local development plans and decisions on planning applications in locations which are designated at risk of flooding and coastal erosion. The advice should be used by local planning authorities and developers to direct development away from areas at risk.
The current approach to river and sea flooding, whereby uses are classified by vulnerability and considered against the degree of risk by zone, remains unchanged. A new TAN15 defended zone has been introduced for areas benefitting from robust defences. A further new zone that covers areas of flooding from surface water and small watercourses has also been defined.
No development classified as highly vulnerable will be allowed in zone 3 under any circumstances. Significantly, less vulnerable development will only be permitted in zone 3 if justification is provided and the development is found to be acceptable in flood risk terms (i.e. through a Flood Consequences Assessment). Development will only be justified "if there are exceptional circumstances that require its location in Zone 3, such as the interests of national security, energy security, public health or to mitigate the impacts of climate change".
In Zone 2, Zone 3, and the defended zone, development will need to be taking place on previously developed land and the risk of flooding must be found to be acceptable. Development in zone 2 will also need to be part of a policy to regenerate an existing settlement or achieve key economic or environmental objectives. A new notification direction will be in place where local planning authorities are minded to grant planning permission for highly vulnerable development in Zone 3.

Welsh Government: Written Statement, New guidance on planning for flooding and coastal erosion risksNatural Resources Wales, Flood Map for planning Welsh Government Technical Advice Note (TAN15),National Strategy for Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management in Wales



Quote of the month


Both reports make clear that we have all failed to control out of town development and we need to mobilise alliances for change in our town centres to turn things round.

Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee WatersWelsh Government, Press Release, Radical intervention needed to save Wales’ town centres


Funding for 20,000 low carbon homes

The Welsh Government has allocated £250 million in 2021 to 2022 for new social housing for rent which will help provide 20,000 low carbon homes. The plans were outlined by the Welsh Government’s climate change minister Julie James who said, “we are building at scale to address the supply and demand imbalance, homelessness, the growing second homes crisis, and the climate emergency…We are building high quality homes to make a difference to people’s quality of living…and…we are ensuring the decisions we make today are the right ones for our future generations.”  The move has been praised by housing associations.

Welsh Government, £250 million towards 20,000 low carbon homes for rent

New Planning Inspectorate

The Planning Inspectorate Wales has transferred its staff and functions to the Welsh Government and is now known as Planning and Environment Decisions Wales - Penderfyniadau Cynllunio ac Amgylchedd Cymru. The move, which happened on the 1 October, will include the transfer of existing cases to a new casework processing system and to assist the transfer of data.  Cases involving Developments of National Significance (DNS) Will transfer to the new service but Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP) that includes locations in Wales under the Planning Act 2008 will not be affected by the change and will continue to be decided under the Planning Inspectorate (England).

Planning Inspectorate, Planning Inspectorate Wales separation

Consultation on shaping Wales’ future

The Welsh Government has started a consultation setting national milestones and indicators to measure progress in Wales. The milestones will enable an assessment of progress against the 7 well being goals set out in the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015. This Act makes provision requiring public bodies to do things in pursuit of the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being of Wales in a way that accords with sustainable development. The consultation also asks whether the existing national indicators should be revised following the COVID-19 pandemic. The consultation closes on the 26 October 2021.

Welsh Government, Consultation, Using national milestones and indicators to measure our nation’s progress

Reports state ‘imagination and leadership’ needed for Welsh town centres

Two reports on town centre regeneration in Wales have stated that "imagination and ambitious leadership" backed up by "coordinated, cross-government decision-making" are urgently needed. 'Small Towns, Big Issues' was prepared by Foundational Economy Research while ‘Regenerating Town Centres in Wales’, was compiled by Audit Wales. The Welsh Government has accepted the recommendations from the reports.
Deputy Minister for Climate Change Lee Waters said: “Both reports make clear that we have all failed to control out-of-town development and we need to mobilise alliances for change in our town centres to turn things round”.  
Specific recommendations from the reports are wide ranging and include the effective promotion of town centres to access to public transport. A Ministerial Town Centre Action Group has also been established to oversee the implementation of the recommendations. Three subgroups have also been established to: incentivise town centre development, look at how funding can be streamlined and engage with communities so they can have a greater influence over development in their town. The Welsh Government will make an additional £5 million of loan funding available as part of Transforming Towns this financial year which tops up the £60 million already provided for town centre regeneration.

Welsh Government, Press Release, Radical intervention needed to save Wales’ town centresSmall Towns, Big Issues: independent research reportRegenerating Town Centres in Wales

Improving the accessibility of Welsh planning law

Mick Antoniw, the Welsh Government’s Counsel General, has launched a programme to improve the accessibility of Welsh law, supported by the publication of ‘The Future of Welsh Law: A programme for 2021 to 2026’. The aim of the programme is to simplify planning and historic environment law as part of an ongoing plan to create codes of Welsh law.  A Consolidation Bill will bring together provisions from the existing Acts that currently set out the framework for planning law. This should allow easier access to planning law through a singular act.
The Future of Welsh Law expects a number of acts to be consolidated, including: Town and Country Planning Act 1990; the Planning and Compensation Act 1991; the Local Government (Wales) Act 1994; the Environment Act 1995; the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004; the Planning Act 2008; the Localism Act 2011; and the Planning (Wales) Act 2015.  A new Consolidation Bill will also be brought forward for historic environment law. This will consolidate relevant provisions from the Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments Act 1953; Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979; Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990; and the Historic Environment (Wales) Act 2016.

Welsh Government, Press Release, Planning and historic environment law to be simplified as part of Welsh Government programme to make law more accessibleWelsh Government, The future of Welsh law: A programme for 2021 to 2026Welsh Government, Draft Taxonomy for Codes of Welsh Law

Treasury publishes draft Residential Developer Tax legislation

The UK Government is seeking views on the draft legislation of the UK-wide Residential Property Developer Tax, ahead of its inclusion in the 2021-22 Finance Bill. The charge, which was subject to an initial consultation earlier this year, is intended to ensure that large developers make a fair contribution to help fund the government’s cladding remediation costs. This will be charged on profits from the development of residential property by a residential property developer company. This is separate from The Building Safety Levy, which will apply to developments (in England only) seeking building control approval from the Building Safety Regulator to start construction of certain buildings: the 'Gateway 2' stage of the new building safety regime.

HM Treasury, Residential Property Tax draft legislation


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