Wales’ planning system ‘still gripped by inertia’

Wales’ planning system remains complex and unwieldy, frustrating rural business and entrepreneurship, says the Country Land & Business Association.

Speaking at the Royal Welsh Show at Builth Wells, Powys, CLA Wales chairman Johnny Homfray said that, one year on from the release of new planing guidance, little progress had been made.

“We welcomed the TAN 6 announcement on planning guidance at the Royal Welsh Show last year, because it was supposed to make it easier for businesses to set up in rural areas and to help those already established to grow.

“Yet, according to our soundings, the blockage is now with the local authorities and the national parks. Little has changed and it is still a nightmare process to try to ease the housing needs of retiring farmers and bring greater opportunties for younger people to take over farms.”

CLA Wales policy director Sue Evans said: “The CLA will be lobbying the Welsh government to look closely at the rural economy and make the most of their ability to reconsider roles and responsibilities. A White Paper setting out these proposals will be published towards the end of 2012 and this will be followed by the introductionof a Planning Bill in 2014.

“We will be following these proposals to improve the planning system very closely because we want to ensure we have a planning system that can help deliver economic renewal. Since the welcomed introduction of TAN 6 last year, members have been calling about their frustration that local authorities and national parks are not implementing the new policy.”

For more from the Royal Welsh Show 2011, see our dedicated web page.