Planning policy in Wales

The following Planning practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Planning policy in Wales
  • PPW
  • TANs
  • The National Development Framework for Wales
  • Wales Spatial Plan
  • Strategic planning areas and panels
  • Developments of national significance
  • Local development plans
  • Preparation of LDPs
  • Place plans

Planning policy in Wales

Planning policy is contained primarily within national policy documents and the development plan.

Welsh national planning policy is contained principally in the non-statutory Planning Policy Wales (PPW) and Technical Advice Notes (TANs), together with circulars and the Wales Spatial Plan, which is to be replaced by the National Development Framework.

PPW provides the strategic policy framework for local planning authorities (LPAs) in the preparation of development plans in Wales. PPW is supplemented by 22 topic-based TANs, numbered 1–23, although there is no TAN 17 or 22. The PPW, TANs, Welsh Office and Welsh Parliament Circulars and policy clarification letters together provide the national planning policy framework for Wales (see PPW at para 1.1).

PPW, TANs and the circulars may be material to decisions on individual planning applications. They will be considered by the Welsh Ministers and Planning Inspectors in the determination of called-in planning applications and appeals.

Planning procedural advice is given in the Local Development Plan (LDP) Manual, Development Management Manual and Development Plans Manual (DPM), as well as Welsh government circulars and letters.

Minerals planning in Wales is dealt with in chapter 5 of PPW and a series of guidance notes on the Welsh government’s website.


PPW provides an overview of the planning system in Wales and its principal procedures. The latest edition of PPW was published in December 2018 (edition 10), which

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