Alert over changes to the planning process.
PLANNING consultancy Caulmert is alerting businesses of a change to the planning application process, which places the onus on applicants to carry out consultations prior to the submission of their planning application.
The Planning (Wales) Act 2015 requires applicants to carry out pre-application consultations and to submit a report, as part of their proposals, which sets out the comments received and how they have been addressed. The legislation came into force on 1 March, with a five-month transition period. From 1 August, all planning applications for major developments must satisfy the pre-application consultation requirements before they can be validated.
A major development includes the development of 10 or more houses, the provision of a building or buildings where the floorspace to be created by the development is 1,000sq m or more, and any development on a site of 1ha or more. The requirement will also apply to developments of national significance, including large infrastructure projects of national importance such as wind farms, power stations and reservoirs. Caulmert's planning director Howard Jones said: "This is a significant change in the planning process, and places additional duties on the applicant before a valid planning application can be submitted.
"The pre-application consultation requirements are extensive and, following completion, the applicant must prepare and submit a Pre-application Consultation Report summarising the issues that have been raised and explaining how they have been addressed. The front loading of the planning application process will ensure that organisations, communities and their representatives benefit from early engagement but places the onus upon the applicant."