Please note that the National Park operates a flexible working policy. The main office in Brecon (Plas y Ffynnon) currently remains closed to the public.
The planning service is experiencing a high workload pressure at present which is impacting how we are operating to maintain a high quality and responsive service.
Following the appointment of Gareth Jones in the position of Director of Planning and Place, and Davina Powell as Head of Development Management, we are making good progress with establishing more permanent resources within the team however we continue to draw on temporary support to assist with planning applications.
We are also continuing to implement process changes to assist with delivery service.
We have now set up a system whereby Planning Administrators are undertaking the validation of all new planning applications, which is helping to speed up the initial stages of the application process.
However, the demand on individual case officers remains very high and we are now implementing a system whereby case officers have designated periods each week where they are contactable, outside of those hours officers will be focussing on decision writing. We ask that you remain appreciative of workload pressures when seeking contact with the team. Please be assured, however, that we will continue to do our utmost in responding to queries and working through cases in a timely manner.
We continue to handle a very high volume of planning applications and experience staffing pressures. Coupled with phosphate related restrictions, this is leading to delays in determining applications and responding to enquiries. We apologise for this and staff are working hard to address the backlog.
The number of enforcement cases remains very high. We will continue to take enforcement action when it is in the public interest. We will undertake an initial review of all new investigations. The timing of further action will depend upon relative priorities and may take longer than usual.
Pre-Application Advice Service
Our pre-application and statutory pre-application services are still available, but again responses will take longer than set out in our guidance. Details can be found here:- Charging for Pre-Application Planning Advice | Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority
Current guidance from Natural Resources Wales.
See specifically Advice to planning authorities for planning applications affecting phosphorus sensitive river Special Areas of Conservation
and Principles of nutrient neutrality in relation to development or water discharge permit proposals
Please note Natural Resources Wales guidance is live and is updated periodically.
In terms of planning policy, progress of Local Development Plan (LDP) 2 is currently on pause as a result of the phosphate constraint. Following confirmation from Welsh Government the adopted Local Development Plan (2007-2022) remains in place and material.
The Authority is unable to receive cash, cheques or telephone card payments at this time. Payment of planning application fees can be made via the planning portal or via BACS transfer. Planning fees should be paid at the time of submitting your application. Payment for pre-planning enquiries should be made by BACS transfer.
The Authority does not accept purchase orders and do not issue invoices in respect of planning application fees. Any other remittances or other financial queries should be sent by email to email@example.com
Frequently asked questions:
Will officers be contactable?
The demand on individual case officers remains very high and we are now implementing a system whereby case officers who have over a certain threshold of cases have designated periods in the week where they are contactable. Outside of those hours officers will be focussing on decision writing. Details of availability for those officers with over a certain threshold of cases will be set out in automated email responses from officers otherwise our Planning Admin team can assist with any queries on this (contactable via firstname.lastname@example.org). We ask that you remain appreciative of workload pressures when seeking contact with the team. Please be assured, however, that we will continue to do our utmost in responding to queries and working through cases in a timely manner.
Will my application take longer?
We endeavour to deal with all applications as quickly as possible, but for the reasons set out above it will take longer than normal and we will continue asking agents and applicants for extensions of time.
Is Planning Surgery still operating?
Unfortunately, we have taken the decision to continue with the suspension of our free planning surgery for householders for the foreseeable future due to the lack of officer capacity. We understand that this service is very valuable to householders and we are keeping the situation under review. An alternative to this service is to submit a Certificate of Lawful Proposed Use to establish if planning permission is required https://www.planningportal.co.uk/wales_en/info/5/applications/58/consent_types/9