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Welsh planning committee research has wider significance

31 July 2013

The findings of a recently published report into the operation of planning committees in Wales have wider significance, according to National Director of RTPI Cymru Dr Roisin Willmott.

Dr Willmott, RTPI National Director of RTPI Cymru, said: “The research will prove invaluable to decision makers in Wales, ahead of legislative reform. But anyone interested in what makes an effective planning committee should read the report. The report recommends that smaller committees tend to be more focused and be more consistent in their outcomes. It calls for greater consistency of planning committees across Wales – at present planning committees come in all shapes and sizes – and members, and particularly Chairs, need more support and training. There are lessons for Planning Committees everywhere in the report.”

There are lessons for Planning Committees everywhere in the report.

Ahead of the publication of legislative reform in Wales, the Welsh Government invited a group of experts, the Independent Advisory Group, to produce an issues paper. Its report “Towards a Welsh Planning Act: Ensuring the Planning System Delivers” contained a large number of recommendations, one of which to look into the effectiveness of planning committees. Welsh Ministers invited the Royal Town Planning Institute in Wales (RTPI Cymru) to specifically take forward the recommendation by establishing a group of expert independent stakeholders to oversee a piece of commissioned research. Following a competitive tender process, RTPI Cymru appointed Fortismere Associates, supported by Arup, to undertake the study, which commenced in March and published its recommendations earlier in July.

The study is now completed, and has been submitted to the Minister for Housing and Regeneration for consideration alongside the other evidence.