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New consultation regime for major projects starts in Wales

Words: Roger Milne

From this all week all applications for ‘major’ development in Wales must show how the pre-application consultation requirements set out in the Planning (Wales) Act 2015 have been complied with.

This includes a requirement to submit a pre-application consultation report to the local planning authority. Schemes considered as major development include:

  • Residential: 10 or more units or covering 0.5 or more hectares;

  • Single building: 1,000 square metres floor space or more; and

  • Any other development on a site where the area is 1 hectare or more.

Planning consultancy Turley has pointed out that the consultation process will take a minimum of six weeks (and more likely eight to 10 weeks).

This includes:

  • Accounting for the 28-day consultation period;

  • A period to respond to comments;

  • The production of the report; and

  • Time to make any necessary amendments to the proposals.

Turley explained: “As well as setting out how the applicant has undertaken the necessary steps of the consultation process (i.e. putting up site notices, consulting for 28 days etc.), one of the most complex elements of the report is to set out the responses received during the consultation period and demonstrate how these have been taken into account to help shape the final scheme.

“Wherever possible, community and stakeholder comments and suggestions will need to be taken into consideration in the final development proposals. However, it is important to note that some community concerns will not always be overcome through the consultation exercise.”

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