On 4 July the First Minister and the Leader of Plaid Cymru announced a package of measures to tackle the issue of second homes and short-term lets in Wales. This included a land use planning element with the introduction of three new use classes. These three new use classes will give local planning authorities the ability, where they have evidence, to make local amendments to the planning system through an Article 4 Direction, allowing them to consider whether planning permission is required to change from one use class to another and to control the number of additional second homes and short-term lets in an area. These changes to planning legislation were consulted upon from November 2021 to February 2022 and have now been agreed as follows:
The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (the UCO) is being amended to create new use classes for ‘Dwellinghouses, used as sole or main residences’ (Class C3), ‘Dwellinghouses, used otherwise than as sole or main residences’ (Class C5) and ‘Short-term Lets’ (Class C6);
The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 (the GPDO) is being amended to allow permitted changes between the new use classes, C3, C5 and C6. These permitted development rights can be dis-applied within a specific area by an Article 4 Direction made by a local planning authority on the basis of robust local evidence.
The two Statutory Instruments being introduced to give effect to these changes are:
The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) (Amendment) (Wales) Order 2022; and
The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development etc.) (Amendment) (Wales) Order 2022.
The Statutory Instruments come into force on 20 October 2022.
As set out in the consultation, complementary changes are also being made to section 4.2 of Planning Policy Wales (PPW). These policy changes make it explicit that, where relevant, the prevalence of second homes and short-term lets in a local area must be taken into account when considering housing requirements and policy approaches in Local Development Plans (LDPs).
To assist local planning authorities with making Article 4 Directions and to simplify and expedite the process, subsequent changes are also being made to the GPDO and related legislation. These changes formed part of the ‘Permitted Development’ consultation which took place between 16 November 2021 and 15 February 2022. I have today written to local authorities to set out more information on the steps to be taken where a local planning authority wishes to purse the possible introduction of an Article 4 Direction.