Section 23 – Option to make application to Welsh Ministers
98.This section inserts sections 62M, 62N and 62O into the TCPA 1990.
99.Section 62M enables applications for planning permission and applications for reserved matters approval to be made directly to the Welsh Ministers, where the local planning authority to whom the applications would otherwise have been made have been designated by the Welsh Ministers. The applicant will be able to choose whether to apply to the local planning authority or the Welsh Ministers.
100.The Welsh Ministers may prescribe in regulations the types of development to which the right to make such an application applies. It is likely that major development will be prescribed. “Major development” is defined in the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (Wales) Order 2012, S.I. 2012 No 801 (W. 110), see Article 2(1). In brief, major development is (a) mining operations (b) the use of land for mineral-working deposits; (c) housing development of 10 houses or more or on a site of 0.5 hectares or more; (d) buildings with a floor space of 1000 square metres or more; (e) development on land of 1 hectare or more
101.The Welsh Ministers must publish the criteria for designating a local planning authority and for revoking a designation. Such criteria could, for example, focus on the speed within which certain applications are determined by local planning authorities, and/or the frequency with which such determinations are overturned on appeal.
102.Section 62N sets out the conditions the criteria must meet before they can be applied by the Welsh Ministers. The conditions require consultation by the Welsh Ministers with each local planning authority in Wales, the Assembly not voting against the criteria, and publication.
103.The Welsh Ministers must give notice of the designation or revocation in writing to the local planning authority concerned. The Welsh Ministers must publish a copy of such notice.
104.Urban development corporations may not be designated. (For urban development corporations see Part 16 of the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980.)
105.Section 62O applies where an application is made to the Welsh Ministers under section 62M. Where a connected application would otherwise have been made to the local planning authority or hazardous substances authority, this section enables the application to be made directly to the Welsh Ministers. An application is a “connected application” if it:
is made under the Planning Acts (for these purposes the TCPA 1990, the Planning (Hazardous Substances) Act 1990, the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990),
relates to land in Wales;
is described for this purpose in regulations made by the Welsh Ministers; and
is connected with the principal application.
106.Where the Welsh Ministers consider an application is either not connected with the principal application, or is connected but should not be determined by them, the Welsh Ministers must refer the application to the authority to which it would normally have been made. The application is then determined by that authority.