Big projects such as renewable energy schemes could be speeded up as a result of planning changes proposed by the Assembly Government.
Under the current system, councils are required to refer planning applications for certain types of development that they intend to approve to ministers.
Ministers then decide whether they, or local authorities, should make the decision. This system includes applications that are not in line with local development plans.
The Assembly Government is now proposing that different types of development are referred to ministers, including development in flood risk areas, residential developments with more than 150 units, and waste and renewable energy projects.
Environment Minister Jane Davidson said the aim was to take into account the growing risk of flooding, and avoid unnecessary delays.
The consultation period will run until June 13.
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