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Planning Bill highlighted in new Welsh legislative programme

Words: Roger Milne

A promised Planning Bill is one of the highlights of the Welsh government’s latest legislative programme, first minister Carwyn Jones has announced.

The Bill will reform and simplify the current planning system and ensure that planning becomes an enabling tool which is supported by appropriate subordinate legislation, policy and guidance, he stressed.

Also in the programme will be the Local Government Bill. This will prepare the ground for reforming local authorities in Wales through a series of mergers. Whilst the merger proposals themselves and other reforms will be provided for in a second bill to be introduced after the 2016 Assembly elections, the Local Government Bill will enable mergers to take place in a coherent and planned way.

In addition, the administration has committed to an Environment Bill which will establish a modern and innovative legislative framework for the sustainable management of the country’s natural resources.

The legislative package will also involve a Heritage Bill designed to ensure the sustainable management of the Welsh historic environment supported by non-legislative policy, advice and guidance.