Updates on planning issues in Wales
Following the response from Lesley Griffiths AM in line with the recent news story on the PACEY website, Claire Protheroe, Direct Services Manager for Wales, takes a more detailed look at what this means in practice for childminders in Wales.
As you may be aware from previous website updates and member newsletters, CSSIW has now removed the requirement to declare that you have consulted with planning as part of your registration with them, and CSSIW will not be looking to check or 'police' that you comply with local planning requirements.
As stated in the response from the Minister, this does not mean that childminders should be non-compliant with planning and, as a registered childminder, you need to individually consider the local planning position.
If you have applied for the variation to your registration in line with the legal pack/letter sent by CSSIW in the last couple of weeks then in practice from April you may have a registration certificate from CSSIW registering you for up to 10 children under 12 (depending on the floor space of your property etc) but restrictions placed on you by planning are separate to this. This is different from the current position, where CSSIW take the planning restrictions into account when issuing your CSSIW registration certificate.
As planning is a devolved power for Local Authorities there is not a consistent position across Wales at this time. PACEY Cymru continues to work hard with Welsh Government and Local Authorities to ensure issues are highlighted and to gain clarification on the national and local picture across Wales. Local planning departments are also due to receive a circular at a national level from the Welsh Government advising them how to approach these issues, which we hope will support on a local level.
PACEY Cymru would suggest to you, as a childminder in Wales, to move forward with the response to the CSSIW legal pack/letter and not delay sending this back. In coming weeks it will then be an individual decision for you to make as to whether or not you feel that you may require planning permission for your setting and if so whether you feel it is cost effective, and beneficial to children of families in your care, to apply for this if it is decided this is required. The planning circular from Welsh Government that has now been shared with local authority planning departments and childcare teams can support you on this issue and any decisions you make. Read it in English and in Welsh.
Aside from planning PACEY Cymru continue to run webinars to support on the key changes related to regulation and this has been well received so far. Check out the content on the webinars for Wales section of this website for further information
We continuing to record any issues around planning and are keen to hear from anyone who has not already shared local information with us to support us in scoping the picture across Wales. Please email email@example.com if you have anything to share.