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3 point plan: Jane Jones MRTPI

Words: Jane Jones
Three arrows on steps

A planner explains how they would change the Welsh planning system

Jane Jones MRTPI

Principal Planning Officer (Compliance), Snowdonia National Park Authority, Corporate legal member RTPI cymru management board

The Welsh Planning system needs to provide greater recognition to enforcement, which still suffers from the stigma of being the ‘Cinderella’ service of the planning process. 

Enforcement officers are an integral element for the efficient and effective functioning of the planning system. They possess a wealth of

knowledge and skills and can communicate effectively with the public, especially when handling delicate situations. 

At a time when public engagement is at the forefront of mainstream planning, there is a need to educate town and community councils. The Welsh Government has commissioned Planning Aid Wales to deliver planning training workshops. Tailored training events must not only focus on the local development plan, pre-application and application process but also on enforcement procedure and practice, with emphasis on ‘expediency’.

Enforcement would become a more efficient, effective and transparent system without the four and 10-year rule time limits. It would simplify the system and make it easier for the public to understand. It would also ease the burden of local planning authorities having to monitor sites and provide evidence to prove a case.

The three point plan

1. Greater recognition for enforcement officers and the role they play within the planning system

2. Ensure that training workshops to Town and Community Councils also focus on enforcement with emphasis on ‘expediency’

3. Remove the four and 10-year rule time limits for a more efficient and effective system