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Statutory undertakers

The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (TCPA 1990) contains provisions which modify normal planning control in the case of statutory undertakers.

Statutory undertakers are bodies authorised by any enactment to carry on certain specified undertakings. Some of the provisions applying to statutory undertakers relate only to their operational land (which is defined in TCPA 1990). Other bodies, such as Natural Resources Wales, are deemed to be statutory undertakers for some of the provisions of TCPA 1990.

Modifications of normal planning control in respect of statutory undertakers include:

  • certain works by statutory undertakers are deemed not to constitute development under TCPA 1990;
  • planning permission is granted under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 for certain development by statutory undertakers;
  • appeals and direct applications to the Welsh Ministers are determined jointly by the Welsh Ministers and the ‘appropriate minister’ (which in some circumstances is a UK Government Minister);
  • rights of statutory undertakers are not automatically overridden upon the compulsory acquisition or appropriation of land.
Published on
Last updated
18 June 2021