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13/04/2016

Housing a priority for Wales Green Party

Words: Laura Edgar
Conwy Castle, Virgin train

Housing, transport and energy have been listed as priorities in the Wales Green Party’s manifesto.

For People. For Planet. For Wales has been published in the run-up to the Assembly election on 5 May.

Housing

 

The manifesto states that the party would provide at least 12,000 homes a year, “located in the right places to the right standards”, a third of which must be social housing. Emphasis would initially be placed on “reactivating” vacant properties.

Upgrading “old, inefficient housing stock” is billed as a national infrastructure “priority”, and the party has also pledged to ensure that existing housing association and social housing stock is brought up to level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes by 2020.

Right to Rent legislation is something the party says it wants to “strengthen tenants’ rights”. It says it will support housing associations, local authorities and other public bodies to set up “energy supply companies in the interests of their tenants and residents”.

It also plans to ensure that “no new housing is built on flood plains” as well as address land banking by ensuring that planning permissions for housing developments are implemented within three years rather than the current five.

Planning

 

The manifesto states that Wales's Green Party would use planning legislation to require new housing development to include district heating, onsite generation from small-scale renewables, and integrated energy storage as appropriate.

Communities would be given a say on big decisions on planning and energy infrastructure under a Green Party administration, and the party wants to make sure that projects give something back through community benefit funds.

The manifesto says the party would develop planning policies that allocate land in green belt around larger settlements for small farms, market gardens, dairies and forestry enterprises.

Transport

 

Plans outlined in the manifesto include investing in the South Wales and Valleys rail electrification, the South East Metro and the rail connection between Aberystwyth and Carmarthen.

The party plans to fully integrate bus and rail services; invest in bus routes across urban and rural Wales, and cancel the M4 extension, redirecting the “£1 billion investment to public transport improvements”.

Energy

 

The manifesto outlines a commitment to support and accelerate the development of tidal lagoons in Wales by “requiring Natural Resources Wales to streamline the application process for Marine Licences.

The party also wants to “fight Westminster” against plans to invest in nuclear in Wales.


For People. For Planet. For Wales. can be found here (pdf).


Earlier this month, Plaid Cymru published its election manifesto, promising to create a National Housing Company and a National Infrastructure Commission Wales.


Image credit | iStock

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