Wednesday, 29 December 2010


On the 13th December 2010, the Westminster Government published their wide ranging Localism Bill, and even though Local Government in Wales is devolved, will still have significant impact on Wales especially on Planning issues.

Part 5 of the Localism Bill deals with Planning and in summary will:
Planning – including the abolition of Regional Spatial Strategies, the use of the Community Infrastructure Levy, new powers for neighbourhood planning, and new rules for nationally-significant infrastructure projects.

The abolition of regional spatial strategies such as the North East Wales/West Cheshire Regional plan and the Mersey Dee Alliance will be particularly welcome in the North East of Wales. I presume that this bill will force the Welsh Government to review the Wales Spatial Plan and Planning Policy Wales and in future planning decisions in Wales will hopefully be based on the needs of the locality and not on the housing needs of Chester and Liverpool.


Plaid Queensway said...

Good news but the West Cheshire Plan has already been implemented (i.e the tens of thousands of houses have already been built or have permission), the Assembly and local authorities now need to focus on repairing the damage that plan has done.

Also, if the Assembly carry on using population projections based on past levels of in migration and passing these off as 'local need', we're still no better off.

A step in the right direction but we already have the power in Cardiff to stop this exploitation of our planning system, just need people to wake up!

Royston Jones said...

Agreed. The problem lies with the Assembly that already has the power to set housing targets attuned to local need.

So why doesn't it happen?

Even though I take no great interest in the doings down in Cardiff docks I suspect that the Assembly is lumbered with senior civil servants still taking their cue from London.

If so, then it was interesting to read in today's Mule Nerys Evans write, “The Civil Service has been developed on a British model. That’s how it was created. We need to create a Welsh public service based on our needs and our wants and aspirations.”

Let's hope that after the May elections the Assembly pulls out its collective finger and does something that's needed in Wales but will be frowned upon in London.

What a first that would be!

Plaid Whitegate said...

The fact that the head of the civil service in Wales is answerable to the head of the civil service in Westminster rather than the First Minister or Welsh Government says it all.
Power devolved is power retained, as someone once said, and it's clear that the senior "management" in Cardiff Bay are a Little London-on-Sea.
Nerys is right to call for a complete shake-up of the civil service in Wales so that it reflects our needs and aspirations rather than those of our London masters.
I suspect the experience of being in Government has sharpened that view for many in Plaid.

Royston Jones said...

Anyone know how the civil service is organised in Scotland?

John Broughton said...

So the view of this blog is to reduce economic activity in Wales. Plaid is, was and apparently always will be economically illiterate.

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

I thought the Tories were all in favour of devolving decisions to be made locally? So what's your problem here John boy?