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Welsh planning system to be streamlined under new Planning Bill

Ministers will decide planning applications for development of national significance to Wales under proposals set out in a Welsh Planning Bill published this week.

New measures in the Bill also include enabling local planning authorities to deal with cross-boundary planning issues through strategic development plans. The plans would be drafted by a panel comprising representatives of local authorities, community, environmental and business interests.

A revised enforcement system would be introduced to enable more effective action against breaches of planning control.

“Planning is at the heart of our communities, from building an extension on a house to building a new local school," said Welsh natural resources minister Carl Sargeant in a statement.

"The introduction of this Bill is the beginning of an exciting period for planning in Wales and I will soon be putting in place additional measures to ensure that the Bill’s objectives are met in full. I look forward to seeing these reforms, coupled with a ‘can do’ culture across the planning sector, providing a system which can make a positive and lasting impact on our communities,” Sargeant said. 

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