Wales to create new planning inspectorate
Published: 13 May 2019

Welsh housing minister Julie James has confirmed that work is already underway to create a new, separate planning inspectorate for Wales. At the moment, there is a single planning inspectorate for England and Wales which deals with planning casework and appeals.

The new planning inspectorate is expected to be established by May 2021, which is the end of the current Welsh Assembly term. However, until then, planning applications for major planning infrastructure projects and also for appeals must continue to be made to the existing planning inspectorate.

Ms James said, "Planning law and policy has diverged and continues to diverge at an accelerating rate from England, in order to meet the unique needs of communities and businesses in Wales. We are also moving forward to consolidate and unify planning law in Wales to form a separate Welsh planning code.

"For these reasons, I have instructed officials to begin work on a separate, dedicated service for Wales."

Based on these comments, we could also see a shift in the way planning legislation in England and Wales is dealt with in the near future. At the moment, several planning laws apply to both England and Wales, with some containing variations on provisions for either Wales or England. However, it seems like this needs to change in order for Wales to properly manage its unique planning requirements.

Whatever happens, we'll keep you posted and up-to-date with legislation.