(Title Image: Welsh Government under Crown Copyright)
On 7th August 2019, the Welsh Government began a public consultation on a new draft 20-year National Development Framework (NDF) which will set out strategic planning for Wales until 2040 (pdf).
“The challenge for a plan like the NDF is not necessarily to predict how Wales might change over the next twenty years but to make sure we can build a society and an economy that is flexible and resilient, to enable all of us to benefit from the changes in a sustainable way. It means the NDF has a strong focus on sustainable travel, with policies on Metro systems and charging infrastructure for low emission vehicles. It sets a clear vision for more renewable energy, coupled with a commitment for more and better green infrastructure.”
– Local Government & Housing Minister, Julie James (Lab, Swansea West)
Key proposals include:
- Supporting growth in urban centres, with a principle of “town centres first” for development – accessible by public transport and walking/cycling.
- Building an additional 114,000 homes by 2038, with 57% of them built in south Wales and a higher proportion of them being “affordable”.
- Increasing and improving mobile coverage.
- Support and planning for electric and other low-carbon vehicle infrastructure.
- Safeguarding areas for habitat creation and restoration, including the creation of a National Forest via the planting of 2000 hectares of new woodland per year from 2020.
- Phasing in district heat networks and prioritising wind and solar energy in identified priority areas.
- The drafting of regional strategic development plans.
- North Wales Priorities: Wrexham & Deeside as a focused area of growth; improving transport links with north-west England; supporting nuclear energy.
- Mid & South West Wales Priorities: Swansea Bay, Carmarthen, Llandrindod Wells, Newtown & Aberystwyth as focused areas for growth; Swansea Bay Metro; development of Haven waterway.
- South East Wales Priorities: Cardiff and Newport should be the focused area of growth; co-ordinated regeneration of the Heads of the Valleys; growth and development of Cardiff Airport; developing Valleys Regional Park.
The consultation is open until 1st November 2019, with all details available here.