The Independent Advisory Group (IAG) produced its report "Towards a Welsh Planning Act: Ensuring the Planning System Delivers." This included a wide number of recommendations for the improvement of the planning system in Wales. Many of the recommendations will be considered as part of the development of the Planning (Wales) Bill. There are also other recommendations which can be acted on before this time.
In particular, recommendation 55 of the IAG Report advises that "An independent body is commissioned to conduct a study of the operation of Planning Committees in Wales to determine whether there is a link between efficiency and effectiveness and committee size."
Welsh Ministers invited the Royal Town Planning Institute in Wales (RTPI Cymru) to specifically take forward the recommendation by establishing a group of expert independent stakeholders to oversee a piece of commissioned research.
RTPI Cymru established a steering group to provide support in taking this forward. Members include: Roisin Willmott, RTPI Cymru; Chris Potts, Savills and Immediate Past Chair of RTPI Cymru; Sue Essex, former Planning Committee Chair; Simon Gale, Rhondda Cynon Taf and Marcus Goldsworthy, Vale of Glamorgan, both representing the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA), Rhun ap Gareth, Cyngor Gwynedd Council and John Maitland Evans, Trefnant Associates and former Chief Executive of the Vale of Glamorgan Council.
Following a competitive tender process, RTPI Cymru appointed Fortismere Associates, supported by Arup, to undertake the study, which commenced in March.
The study is now completed, and has been submitted to the Minister for Housing and Regeneration for consideration alongside the other evidence.
The report can be downloaded here: