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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Report calls for improved planning in beauty spots

A new report, which will be of interest in Llangollen, makes 28 recommendations to improve planning services in Wales’ National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
Land Use Consultants (LUC) were commissioned by Wales' Environment Minister, John Griffiths, to undertake research as part of the wider review of Wales’ planning system.
The report, Delivery of Planning Services in Statutory Designated Landscapes in Wales, concludes that while there is good practice there are also concerns to be addressed.

These are:
  • Concerns amongst local communities and businesses regarding the planning function restricting their long term sustainability
  • In the case of AONB, the lack of a strong planning framework that recognises that these designated landscapes have an equal status to those of National Parks.
The report’s recommendations are grouped under seven themes:
  • National guidance and improved information on landscape and landscape tools.
  • The policy framework at the local level.
  • Improving the perception of planning (especially development management) in AONB and especially in National Parks.
  • Partnership working between the planning and socio-economic functions of National Park Authorities and their constituent authorities and between the constituent authorities of AONB.
  • Bringing consistency to development management.
  • Governance.
  • Improved performance monitoring.
Commenting on the report, the Minister said: “In these tough times the Welsh Government is fully committed to creating sustainable growth and jobs and we have always been clear that a reformed planning system has an important role to play in supporting our sustainable economic recovery.

"I welcome this report and look forward to discussing its recommendations with my officials.”

The report’s recommendations will feed into the Planning White Paper which is scheduled to be published in late 2013.

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