Following on from a previous statement on Cardiff’s Local Development Plans, Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales explains ongoing work in response to correspondence around planning issues.

“I regularly monitor all correspondence I receive to detect any systemic issues which can arise, and driven by the amount of correspondence I have received on the subject so far, I have decided that, given my powers and resources, to focus my work on getting the national policy right and to work closely with the Welsh Government to ensure that the Well-being of Future Generations Act is reflected in national planning policy and processes.

“My team has met the Planning Inspectorate for Wales and I have worked with the Welsh Government on a revision of the Planning Policy Wales which recasts the policy around the Well-being of Future Generations Act. This collaboration will be followed by further work on the development of the National Development Framework between 2018 – 2019.

“The final strand of this work will be around the revision of the Local Development Plan Manual later on this year to ensure the guidance is in line with the requirements of the Well-being of Future Generations Act.

“I am also considering how I could best support public bodies on revision of their Local Development Plans (for Cardiff in 2019) and to ensure that the Local Development Plans work together with the Well-being Local Plans. “Alongside our work on planning, we have designed a Future Generations Framework for projects to support public bodies and communities to use the Act in the development of infrastructure projects and initiatives.

“There are around 25,000 individual planning decisions including over 700 major projects annually (based on 2015 figures), and it would be impossible for me to undertake an assessment of every planning or permitting decision and I often have to stress that I am not an extra layer of appeal. As Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, I encourage the public to write to me to raise issues relating to the Act so that I can identify broader strategic or system-wide issues and I also seek to empower them using the Act directly by giving examples of the questions members of the public can ask as they interact with public bodies.

“I am always interested to hear directly from people about what’s important to them in planning or any other issue relevant to the Act and I am keen to identify areas for improvement of the well-being of the people of Wales.”