The Planning system has a central role to play in conserving heritage assets and utilising the historic environment in creating sustainable places.
Planning Policy Wales (PPW) sets out the land use planning policies of the Welsh Government. It is supplemented by a series of Technical Advice Notes (TANs). Chapter 6 of PPW deals with planning policies as they relate to conservation of the historic environment.
The Wales Spatial Plan, People, Places, Futures, sets a strategic framework to guide future development and policy interventions. It integrates the spatial aspects of national strategies for social inclusion and economic development, health, transport and environment, translating the Welsh Government’s sustainable development duty into practice.
PPW, the TANS, circulars and policy clarification letters comprise national planning policy. Every local planning authority in Wales must prepare a Local Development Plan (LDP) for its area and national planning policy and the Wales Spatial Plan should be taken into account by local planning authorities in the preparation of development plans.
Development plans should reflect national policies for the preservation and enhancement of the component historic assets which comprise the historic environment. They may be material to decisions on individual planning applications and will be taken into account by the Welsh Ministers and Planning Inspectors in the determination of called-in planning applications and appeals. Local planning authorities particularly have to take into account planning applications for development which would affect a scheduled ancient monument, a historic park or garden or landscape or the setting of a listed building.
Circulars 60/96, 61/96 and 1/98 give more detailed information on planning and the historic environment in relation to duties and responsibilities for archaeology, historic buildings and conservation areas. This guidance, as well as chapter 6 of PPW, will be updated in the light of forthcoming discussion on the historic environment, as part of the planned discussion and consultation on a new Heritage Bill for Wales which is part of the Welsh Government's Legislative Programme announced in July 2011.
Cadw’s Conservation Principles outline Cadw’s approach to the protection and management of the historic environment as a whole. They present criteria against which Cadw will make decisions or offer advice about changes to significant historic assets and are recommended to local planning authorities and others involved in the planning process.