Welsh government pledges 'bespoke infrastructure consenting process'

A pledge to establish a 'bespoke infrastructure consenting process' is contained in a national strategy published last week by the Welsh government.

Wind energy: document promises bespoke infrastructure consenting regime (picture by Charles D P Miller)
Wind energy: document promises bespoke infrastructure consenting regime (picture by Charles D P Miller)

The document, Prosperity for All, sets out the Welsh government’s strategy to deliver its key priorities for the rest of the Assembly’s term. The document says that the "right planning system" is "crucial" for delivering the objectives contained in the strategy.

It says that the Welsh government will introduce a new National Development Framework, "setting out a 20-year land use plan for Wales, guiding strategic development and supported by the National Infrastructure Commission for Wales".

The new commission, it says, will "strengthen the governance and strategic planning of major infrastructure investments".

The document also pledges to establish a "bespoke infrastructure consenting process, which is responsive to business and community needs, to support sustainable economy growth, and to decarbonise our energy supply".

It adds that the Welsh government will require "co-ordinated planning of new homes, facilities and infrastructure by local authorities, health bodies, housing associations and other key partners".

In 2015, the Welsh government set up a new Developments of National Significance system, taking decision-making powers away from local planning authorities for energy projects of between ten to 50MW in size.

Earlier this year, an array of new planning powers transferred to Welsh ministers with Royal Assent for the Wales Act. The powers include the ability to decide upon applications for energy projects of between 50 and 350MW capacity, which were previously dealt with under the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project regime.


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