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Wales round-up: Changes to Welsh green regulator’s remit announced; Ebbw Vale glass bottle plant scoping report submitted to council 

Words: Roger Milne

A round-up of planning news in Wales: 9 May-15 May, 2020

Changes to Welsh green regulator’s remit announced

The Welsh Government has set Natural Resources Wales (NRW) a number of new and repurposed priorities to target renewable energy, flood alleviation, tree planting and biodiversity.

The Planner

Covid-19: Application submissions fall in England and Wales

Data shows that planning applications of all types fell on average by 3.5 per cent in March and 18.5 per cent in April in England and Wales.

The Planner

PINS to start visiting sites

The Planning Inspectorate (PINS) will begin visiting sites again now the government has signalled it can in a written ministerial statement following the easing of lockdown restrictions amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

The Planner

Ebbw Vale glass bottle plant scoping report submitted to council 

Consultancy Arup has submitted a scoping report to Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council detailing proposals from Cinter Glass, part of a Turkish conglomerate, for an extensive glass bottle-manufacturing complex earmarked for the Rassau industrial estate near Ebbw Vale. As well as productions lines, it would require warehousing, pallet stores, recycling facilities, furnaces and chimney stacks up to 75 metres high. The project would generate 100 lorry movements a day and provide work for 600 people, says the report.

South Wales Argus

Denbigh hospital redevelopment makes progress

Proposals for the redevelopment of the long-derelict grade II* listed North Wales Hospital in Denbigh have reached an important milestone. A planning application has been submitted to the county council for a mixed-use scheme involving 300 new homes as well as commercial, retail and leisure uses.

BBC News

Ministers call for Covid-19 transport initiatives

The government has urged local authorities to submit proposals to transform Wales’s transport system with measures such as bus lanes, park-and-ride facilities, temporary cycle lanes, pavement widening and speed restrictions, all of which would improve conditions for sustainable and active travel during the Covid-19 emergency.

Welsh Government 

Homes as power stations project proceeds

The city council’s cabinet has signed off the business case for an ambitious project that could see the Swansea Bay City Region pioneer a project to retrofit 7,000 homes with energy-efficiency measures with another 3,300 new-build homes also set to benefit.

Swansea City Council

Wales’s population most aged in the UK

Latest official mid-year population figures for the country estimate that in 2019 there were 3,153,000 people living in Wales, an increase of 0.5 per cent on mid-2018, with people aged 65 or over accounting for just over a fifth (21 per cent), the highest proportion of all UK countries. The figures also showed that the population increased in 19 of the 22 local authorities in Wales between mid-2018 and mid-2019.

Welsh Government

Government picks-up BIDs running costs

The government will support the country’s 16 business improvement districts (BIDs) with their running costs for up to three months, announced deputy local government minister Hannah Blythyn.

Welsh Government

Cardiff Coal Exchange hotel scheme flounders

The company that owns Cardiff’s Coal Exchange, part of the Signature Living Group, has gone into administration with the ambitious project to renovate the grade II* listed landmark and convert it into a luxury 173-bedroom hotel still unfinished.

BBC News

Swansea HMO refused

Proposals to convert a former Swansea social club into a house of multiple occupation have been turned down, partly because one of the proposed living rooms had no windows. 

Wales Online

Caerleon hotel rejected

Newport City Council has refused plans for a 44-bedroom hotel earmarked for a site on Belmont Hill in Caerleon because of highway safety issues and the loss of protected woodland.

Wales Online

Go-ahead for Trowbridge office to hostel conversion

Hafod Housing’s proposals to repurpose and extend a former office in the Cardiff suburb of Trowbridge to create a residential hostel for young people has been give the go-ahead by the city council.

Insider Media

Housing proposed for derelict Flintshire garden centre

An “eyesore” garden centre at Cefn-y-Bedd on the Flintshire-Wrexham border could be demolished and replaced with 14 new homes under proposals submitted to Flintshire County Council.  

BBC News

Community centre change of use approved for Llandovery school

Part of an old secondary school site at Llandovery in Carmarthenshire is being transformed into a community leisure centre following a successful change-of-use application.

Wales Online

Approval for Llandudno whisky distillery

Welsh whisky brand Penderyn has obtained planning permission for its new distillery and visitor centre in Llandudno, which will occupy a site currently housing the county archives.

Wales Online

Green light for key Cardiff city-centre redevelopment

The refurbishment and extension of the former Brains Brewhouse as part of a six-storey mixed-use development, a key element of the wider Central Quay project in Cardiff, has been given the green light. The landmark 46-metre high ‘Brains’ chimney is being retained as a focal point for the whole scheme. 

Insider Media