The Law Commission recognises that the legislation governing the planning system in Wales is often confusing and unhelpful, whilst it has been much amended over the last 30 years, it is still full of obsolete provisions. The Welsh Government invited the Law Commission to review the legislation relating to planning as it applies in Wales and their final report was put before the UK Parliament and the Assembly on the 3rd December. The Welsh Government will now provide an interim response to the report by the end of May 2019, and a detailed response by the end of November 2019.
The Law Commission now hopes that their proposed reforms will be adopted and form a key input into a new Planning (Wales) Bill, possibly alongside a new Historic Environment (Wales) Bill to be laid before the Assembly during this assembly term. This new legal basis for planning control in Wales, will replace the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, the Planning (Wales) Act 2015, the Listed Buildings Act 1990, the Historic Environment (Wales) Act 2016, five other Acts, the relevant parts of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, and parts of another 25 pieces of legislation.
Public Law Commissioner Nicholas Paines QC stated: “Planning law is simple in principle, but notoriously complex in practice. This Report contains a wide range of recommendations as to technical reforms to the legislation, that will hopefully lead to the creation of a well-structured Planning Code for Wales.”
The report can be downloaded from here: www.lawcom.gov.uk/project/planning-law-in-wales/