Minister for Environment, Planning and Countryside said: 'The Welsh Assembly Government is firmly committed to reformed and re-energised development plans as a flagship of its planning reforms as outlined in the 'Planning: delivering for Wales' programme.
'Our reform aims to make the planning system open, fair and transparent. We want the system to inspire confidence among the public and in business, and to deliver improved quality and speed.
'The challenge now is for everyone involved to participate in the process of securing a truly plan-led system in Wales and to deliver sustainable change in our cities, towns and rural areas.'
Publication of this guidance follows extensive consultation across a stakeholder group which included members of the Home Builders Federation, Welsh Local Government Association, RTPI, Wales Council for Voluntary Action, RSPB, 'Pathfinder' local authorities, Cardiff University School of Planning, the Planning Inspectorate, and the Welsh Assembly Government.
It is now a requirement for each local planning authority to prepare a local development plan for its area, subject to transitional provisions allowing certain authorities to continue work on their unitary development plans under The Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
To assist practitioners implement LDP Wales, the Welsh Assembly Government will publish an LDP Manual in the Spring.
To help the public understand the changes from unitary development plans, the Welsh Assembly Government will publish a leaflet by Easter entitled ' Planning Your Community'.
To ensure local authorities and others are clear what national policies should form the basis for LDPs, the Welsh Assembly Government will publish a guide to Planning Policy Wales.
The provisions in relation to the new local development plan system contained in Part 6 (Wales) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Order 2004 have now been fully commenced. The necessary statutory instruments made by the National Assembly for Wales are:
SI 2005/2722 (W.193) (C.110): Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (Commencement No 4 and Consequential, Transitional and Savings Provisions) (Wales) Order 2005;
SI 2005/2839 (W.203) The Town and Country Planning (Local Development Plan) (Wales) Regulations 2005;
SI 2005/2847 (C.118): The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (Commencement No.6, Transitional Provisions and Savings) Order 2005
Copies of LDP Wales are available from the website at: www.wales.co.uk/planning or upon request from the Welsh Assembly Government.