The land use planning systems of the four UK countries are diverging as the impact of devolution takes hold.
A new Research Paper prepared jointly by the four UK legislatures shows that the planning systems in each of the four countries have similar routes based on a ‘plan‑led’ approach to deciding on development in the public interest. However there are a growing number of differences. In particular since the formation of the UK Coalition Government in 2010 the system in England has moved in a different direction with an increasing emphasis on ‘localism’ and the abolition of the regional tier of planning. In Scotland there is an established system of regional planning and in Wales a recent independent report has recommended establishing such a regional tier.
The Research paper looks at how planning works in each UK country including differences in legislation, regional and local planning, nationally significant infrastructure projects, appeals, developer contributions and permitted development. It also looks at future changes in the pipeline in each country. In Wales the next big development will be the Welsh Government’s publication of its White Paper and a draft Planning Reform Bill by the end of 2013.
England: House of Commons Library Research Briefings are available online here.
The Planning Portal also provides information about the planning system in England (select England in the top right corner of the home page).
Northern Ireland: Northern Ireland Assembly Research & Information Service briefings are available here.
Scotland: Scottish Parliament Information Centre briefings are available here.
Wales: National Assembly for Wales Research Service briefings are available here.
We have published a series of Planning Quick Guides on different aspects of the planning system in Wales.
The Planning Portal also provides information about the planning system in Wales (select Wales in the top right corner of the home page).
Article by Graham Winter, National Assembly for Wales Research Service