Governments of Wales and England

Governments of Wales and England are responding to the need to do something about our housing problems by targeting the planning rules.

17th July 2015

In England it feels the issue is all about politics and being seen to be doing something. The headlines point to easing of rules to enhance the chances of building on brownfield sites – something not always as attractive to the housing sector as politicians hope. In Wales, the Planning Act gained royal assent last week and this reform is rooted in common sense and the notion of longer term thinking.

Whilst not everyone will agree with the idea, at least the Welsh Planning Act does champion the values of best practice, minimising waste and advocating the requirements of local people. Just as construction is an enabler, so the act eases the way for our industry to deliver what the country needs.

One thing we all need is energy, so it is fascinating to hear about the onshore wind farm development at Pen y Cymoedd. This is not just a good example of construction delivering energy for Wales, but it combines the delivery of community benefits and an example of collaboration between Jones Bros and Balfour Beatty. It is just the kind of demonstration of team working, forethought and considerate contracting that will make Wales a better country.

Changing planning regulations is one part of the jigsaw. The vast part of the broader puzzle relies upon every element of the construction community pulling together as a team.