Planning (Wales) Bill 2015
The Welsh Government is now able to make its own primary legislation and is currently considering the Planning (Wales) Bill, which will amend existing legislation, including both the Town and Country Planning Act and the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act. The Bill encompasses the whole planning system in Wales. It includes replacing the Wales Spatial Plan with a National Development Framework for Wales, introducing Strategic Development Plans, which would apply in defined strategic planning areas, and improvements to the Local Development Plan process. It also includes proposals for statutory pre-application consultation and to enable Welsh Ministers to determine planning applications for nationally significant developments in Wales.
The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2010 (The DMPO)
(England) The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015 replaces the 2010 Order.
The DMPO applies to all planning applications made in England and specifies the use of a standard application form when applying for planning permission (except minerals) throughout England. The standard application form includes consideration of biodiversity with applicants required to state whether there is reasonable likelihood of protected species, priority species, designated sites, important habitats or other biodiversity features being affected adversely or conserved and enhanced within the application site, or on land adjacent to or near the application site.
The DMPO also specifies the information required to be submitted with the planning application in order for the planning application to be considered valid. This includes the national information requirements, which are the statutory minimum and are set out in the DMPO, and any local requirements which are set by the local planning authority. The National Planning Policy Framework states that local authorities should publish a list of local requirements but provides no further guidance. The previous, more detailed guidance, which included a recommendation that the local requirements include a biodiversity survey and report, has been withdrawn. Nevertheless, such a report typically remains as a local requirement.
Updates to Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations
In response to the amendments to the EIA Directive, the devolved administrations of the UK are required to implement revised EIA Regulations which incorporate the revised provisions of the Directive. The regulations came into force in May 2017.