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Inquiry into the Effectiveness of Local Planning Authorities

Public Accounts Committee Inquiry

Senedd Cymru / Welsh Parliament's Public Accounts Committee undertook an inquiry into the effectiveness of local planning authorities in Wales. The inquiry was based on the Auditor General for Wales' report published in 2019.

RTPI Cymru submitted written evidence to the Committee and Roisin Willmott, Director for Wales and Northern Ireland gave oral evidence to the Committee. The oral evidence sessions can be viewed here.

The Committee published its report into The Effectiveness of Local Planning Authorities in Wales in June 2020. In response, RTPI Cymru said:

RTPI Cymru welcomes the Committee’s recognition of the key role planning plays for achieving sustainable development for communities, the natural environment and the economy and the current and future challenges which planning must address.

The Committee has reached the same conclusions as the Auditor General for Wales and the issue which the RTPI has been highlighting that planning services are not adequately resourced to undertake their important role. This is a critical issue and has increased in importance in the response needed to address the economic and place-based inequalities caused and highlighted by the pandemic. The lockdown situation has also drawn wider attention to the positive value of our local areas and communities, lower levels of pollution and the benefits of walking and cycling. Planning can help retain and embed these benefits.

We welcome the Committee’s attention to the need to raise the status of and recognising the central importance of planning to the well-being of future generations. A direct report to the corporate leadership of a local authority will improve the strategic input in the planning process and provide for holistic sustainable solutions across the authority and inform the public service boards.

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