Lesley Griffiths AM, Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs
Consolidating, modernising and simplifying Welsh planning legislation is essential to ensure the law underpinning the planning system is made to work for the specific needs of Wales, allowing all stakeholders operating and using the system to clearly access and understand the law directly affecting them.
The Law Commission for England and Wales was commissioned by the Welsh Government to undertake a detailed review of this substantial and complex area of law, with the aim of simplifying and consolidating the legislation. In order to inform their review, the Law Commission undertook two public consultation exercises. Views were sought on their scoping paper (June 2016), which set out their provisional views, and on their substantial consultation paper (November 2017) setting out their detailed proposals.
Today, I have received the Law Commission’s final report which, following detailed consideration of the issues and extensive consultation, sets out comprehensive recommendations for my consideration. I am pleased to lay before the Assembly today a copy of their report ‘Planning Law in Wales: Final Report’, which has also been published by the Law Commission on their website:
I wish to express my thanks to the Law Commission for undertaking this significant review, which will provide an important evidence base for us to start the process of simplifying and consolidating planning legislation.
Detailed consideration will now be given to each recommendation, with a view of producing a Government response to the final report. In accordance with the protocol agreed between the Welsh Government and the Law Commission on 2 July 2015, an interim Government response will be provided within 6 months of its submission and publication, with a detailed response to be provided within 12 months. In formulating this response I will be working closely with my Ministerial colleagues where they have policy responsibilities or interests in some of the recommended changes.