Dear Editor,

Since the 1947 Town and Countryside Planning Act the UK Planning System has been developing into the model of sophistication it is today. Now it is partly governed by state law and more importantly democratically by Localised Planning Policies unique to the needs of the Local Authority it serves. 

For some years of late, developments considered to be of national significance DNS, the Local Authorities became only important Consultees, and the State's Planning Inspectorate has become the decision maker. Developments of National Significance DNS trended to be large construction proposals for Power Stations; Water Reservoirs; Major Industrial Factories; Strategic Transport Terminuses like Airports and Centralised Recycling Centres. You get the picture. Such developments were considered to be of DNS Status because they were obviously Strategic by simple definition. More recently that definition was expanded to take out local decision making, as communities and their Councils could slow down, or block by Nimbyism, major developments that residents considered, rightly or wrongly, to be unsavoury on their doorsteps. In the past few years the Wales Government has further honed down the definition of a DNS for issues it wants to remove from local democracy, particularly in its over hasty rush to achieve a Carbon Free Wales in a very short number of years. 

Let me give you one farcical example. Solar Panel complexes that are popping up all over Welsh agricultural fields are quoted as being a DNS if they have a 'capacity' of 10 MW. This means their maximum output in the most favourable of sunny cloudless long summer days. Whereas over a whole year they are only on average just 10% effective obviously due to 365 nights with no sun and short winter cloudy days with little sun. So the average over a year is just one single mega watt, or a thousand old fashioned single bar electric fires. At that level they are absolutely and certainly not of national significance, but the Wales Governments says they are of DNS status, and thus all have to be processed by the Wales Planning Inspectorate not local Councils and Councillors.

It's time that a number of caring countryside organisations banded together to fund a serious formal legal challenge to the Wales Government on the new Welsh definition of what really is a DNS development of national significance.

I. Richard.