Discretionary planning advice service
NRW is a statutory consultee in the planning system, where we are consulted on a range of matters as part of the planning application, and development plan making systems.
We also receive regular requests from developers for advice which goes beyond our statutory duties, particularly at the pre-application stage. We value the importance of early and effective engagement and the benefits this can bring to both our customers and the environment. However, it is increasingly challenging to balance the resourcing of this discretionary advice with our statutory work. For this reason we consulted on the principle of introducing charges for those aspects of our ‘planning’ advice which are discretionary, i.e. where there is no statutory duty or requirement for NRW to provide the advice, in 2015.
Respondents were general supportive of developing a charged service, and we therefore intend to develop a formalised discretionary planning advice service (the DPA service), which should help to ensure that we can continue to offer this type of advice in future years.
As part of the discretionary planning advice service, we will provide developers with a free preliminary opinion on their development proposal. In addition, developers may also access a number of charged services on request.
We intend to start rolling out this service from April 2017 onwards. Further information about the scheme can be found below, including the types of cases it will apply to and proposed charges.