Plaid Cymru have today welcomed the announcement of an independent planning inspectorate for Wales as a “big victory” for Plaid Cymru.
When replying to a question by Plaid Cymru’s planning spokesperson Llyr Gruffydd AM in the Senedd last November, the former Minister for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths AM, gave a commitment to consider the need for a separate Planning Inspectorate for Wales.
Today, the Minister for Housing and Local Government Julie James confirmed in a written statement that she had instructed officials to begin work on a separate, dedicated service for Wales.
Plaid Cymru spokesperson for planning Llyr Gruffydd AM hailed the announcement as a “big victory” for Plaid Cymru who have been arguing for a separate inspectorate for many years. He said that the new inspectorate should be located in north Wales.
Plaid Cymru spokesperson for planning, Llyr Gruffydd AM said,
“Today’s announcement is a big victory for Plaid Cymru who have long argued for an independent planning inspectorate for Wales.
“As far back as 2013, we proposed that an independent inspectorate be included in the Planning Bill but Labour voted against our amendments.
“Following devolution the planning system in Wales has been evolving differently to that in England. The Planning (Wales) Act 2015 accelerated this divergence and expecting one inspectorate to preside over two different systems has become increasingly unsustainable.
“I will now be calling for any planning inspectorate for Wales to be located in north Wales and committed to creating a planning system that will be for the benefit of our communities across the whole of our nation.
“I eagerly await further details and a comprehensive timetable and we stand ready to work with the Welsh Government to realise our long-standing ambition.