The Planning (Wales) Act 2015
Produced in partnership with Stephen Morgan of Landmark Chambers
The Planning (Wales) Act 2015

The following Local Government guidance note Produced in partnership with Stephen Morgan of Landmark Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The Planning (Wales) Act 2015
  • Background
  • Objectives of the Planning (Wales) Act 2015
  • Sustainable development
  • Development planning
  • Applications direct to Welsh Ministers—developments of national significance
  • Development management
  • Enforcement and appeals
  • Town and village greens
  • Reform of Welsh planning law


In October 2011, an independent advisory group was established to review the delivery of the planning system in Wales. In 2014, the advisory group reported that they did not consider that there was a need for a 'root and branch' reform, but put forward a number of recommendations for improvement of the system.

This led to further research and review of planning committees in Wales, which fed into the production of a Bill. The Bill received Royal Assent on 6 July 2015 as the Planning (Wales) Act 2015 (P(W)A 2015) and sits alongside the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and the Environment (Wales) Act 2016. It should be read together with:

  1. the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (TCPA 1990)

  2. the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (PCPA 2004)

  3. Planning Policy Wales (PPW), and

  4. any relevant Technical Advice Notes (of which there are 21)

This Practice Note summarises the main features of P(W)A 2015.

The Welsh government is in the process of simplifying and consolidating planning law in Wales. See: Reform of Welsh planning law below

Objectives of the Planning (Wales) Act 2015

The Welsh Government website states that P(W)A 2015 aims to ensure that the planning system in Wales is ‘fair, resilient and enables development’. Five key objectives are stated:

  1. a modernised framework for the delivery of