Does New Wales Planning Policy Make Life Easier For Developers?
July 2014 saw the introduction of the New Planning Policy Wales 2014 (PPW14). This will make life easier for anyone building a new home and we'll tell you why.
To start with, the policy clearly states that the Planning System is not meant to duplicate the role of Building Regulations - Great! This should cut out a lot of red tape. We'll all have the same challenges to face, but will only have one point of contact for the technical challenges - Building Control. Also, the Code for Sustainable Homes has effectively been scrapped. From 2010 to 2014, new homes had to comply with the code, which essentially meant paying a Energy Assessor lots of money to point score home design before and after planning as well as after construction. This will certainly save some developers thousands of pounds in fees, but will probably most benefit self-builders.
Does this mean that new homes will be less sustainable?
Our thoughts - no. Alongside the new PPW14, Wales also got it's own Building Regulations Part L. Part L is concerned with Energy use and has aspired to greater standards than those currently set in England. Furthermore, now that it's down to Building Control, there is a department that has the technical capacity to oversee the works and, where necessary, take enforcement action to ensure compliance. Technical Construction matters are not something the planning system was ever equipped to deal with.
Will it work? Only time will tell.