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Julie James, Minister for Housing and Local Government

First published:
15 January 2020
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

When the Welsh Government launched Edition 10 of Planning Policy Wales (PPW) in December 2018, we confirmed our commitment to the principles of placemaking. That statement also heralded a clear indication that the Welsh Government will take a more robust approach to ensure the principles contained in PPW are applied in practice.

I fully support these sentiments and am determined to ensure the planning system creates good quality, sustainable places through a plan-led approach.

To reinforce the new policy context set out in PPW Edition 10, I have amended the provisions regarding “Significant Residential Development” set out in The Town and Country Planning (Notification) (Wales) Direction 2012 (the 2012 Direction) and paragraphs 16 to 18 of Welsh Government Circular 07/12. The Town and Country Planning (Major Residential Development) (Notification) (Wales) Direction 2020 (the 2020 Direction) and Guidance is attached at the following web link:

Referring planning applications for major residential development to Welsh Ministers (Direction and Circular 001/2020)

The 2020 Direction will apply to applications made on or after 15 January 2020. It requires the Welsh Ministers to be notified of applications made on or after that date for any proposed residential development of more than 10 residential units, or residential development on more than 0.5 hectares of land, which is not in accordance with one or more provisions of the development plan in force and which the authority do not propose to refuse.

It is essential that Local Development Plans (LDPs) are produced and reviewed and that allocations made in them are delivered in line with community expectations. I am concerned that too many speculative, unsustainable residential developments have been proposed outside of adopted LDPs and this Direction is intended to ensure that the Welsh Ministers are aware of such development proposals.