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PR 44 - Westminster must clarify IPC role in Wales

02 July 2008

Town planners in Wales need a strong indication from Westminster of the role the proposed Infrastructure Planning Commission will play within the devolving Welsh planning system, according to the Royal Town Planning Institute Cymru. The call comes ahead of the first ever RTPI Welsh Planning Conference, which will be held in Cardiff on Thursday July 3rd.

RTPI Cymru is calling on Westminster to clarify what powers the IPC would have over decisions on major infrastructure in Wales. In particular, clarification is sought on how National Policy Statements – the documents which will set out under which circumstances and where infrastructure development should take place – will be made to synchronize with Welsh planning policy on issues of infrastructure.

RTPI Cymru Policy Director, Roisin Willmott, said: \"The Welsh planning system has taken on a distinctive character since devolution but some inevitable fuzziness remains around the edges. Welsh and English planning policy still intersects at several points which has the potential to create confusion and misunderstanding, which are dangerous commodities when it comes to making decisions which will have an impact for generations to come. Of particular concern to us is how the proposed IPC will interact with the Welsh Assembly. We would like a stronger indication from Westminster of what powers the IPC will have to take decisions on major infrastructure in Wales and in particular how the National Policy Statements will guide Welsh development.\"

For further information or to arrange an interview please contact:

Dale Atkinson, RTPI Communications Manager, 0207 929 9479

Notes to Editors:

The Welsh Planning Conference will be held on Thursday July 3. It will be attended by more than 200 delegates. It is the first event of its kind held in Wales.

The RTPI is a dynamic organisation leading the way in the creation of places that work now and in the future. We understand that just as people develop places, so places develop people.  We are committed to the enhancement of our natural and human environment, using spatial planning to manage competing pressures on our built environments and the very real effects on our space.  Through our 20,000 members, we constantly seek to create areas and places in which people want to live and work.

For further general information, visit the RTPI website at:

41 Botolph Lane, London, EC3R 8DL, charity no. 262865