Janet Finch-Saunders, AM for Aberconwy, has called for an Assembly debate on the controversial planning Technical Advice Note 1 (TAN 1).
The TAN details how councils are to calculate the housing need for the local authority area, and has been a considerable part in arguments surrounding the contentious planning application at Marl Lane, Deganwy – currently awaiting appeal.
Raising the matter directly in Petitions Committee, Janet said:
“This doesn't just affect Aberconwy. We're going to be losing a lot of our boundaries for our local communities. We certainly know controversial sites are coming forward that aren't in LDPs because they're using the model of TAN 1 as the be-all and end-all.
“Seventy nine per cent of local authorities were against the changes to the TAN 1 methodology in 2015 to the current model, and it's failing to recognise the issues faced by local communities. It just makes a mockery of all the years that we spent in Conwy doing our LDP.
“I've raised concerns about this issue previously. We've had some very contentious issues that have come up in Conwy – with planning officers giving more weight to TAN 1 than to a lot of all the other TANs, in part due to pressures from the Welsh Government.
“When you've got planning officers almost saying that they feel that they have their arms tied behind their back because this is Welsh Government diktat, I think we ought to be very strong in saying, 'You need to go back to the drawing board on this one.' It isn't working for our local communities and I would like this, definitely, to be pencilled in somewhere for a debate in Plenary.”
Transcript for the Petitions Committee is available here: http://record.assembly.wales/Committee/4754