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Wales round-up: Minister calls for tougher building regs backed by planning; Swansea green building approved

Words: Roger Milne

A round-up of planning news in Wales: 6 March-12 March, 2021

Welsh minister calls for tougher building regs backed by planning

Planning minister Julie James this week promised that a next Labour administration would look at amending planning legislation to make sure that developers “build to the current building regulations and not the ones in existence at the time that planning consents started”.

The Planner

Johnson seeks to improve transport connectivity across UK

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a series of measures intended to boost transport connectivity across the UK, including improving rail connectivity between the north coast of Wales and England.

The Planner

Pontypool project funding boost

Lloyds Bank has provided a new £16 million funding line to Johnsey Estates for its expansion plans for Mamhilad Park Estate, which include a major mixed-use urban village at the Pontypool site that could deliver up to 900 new homes.

Wales Online

Swansea green building approved

The city council has approved Hacer Developments’ green-minded proposals for a 12-storey ‘living’ building in the centre of Swansea. It will provide flats, shops, offices, and a courtyard featuring living – or biophilic – walls and roofs along with rooftop solar panels, battery storage and gardens.

Wales Online

Cwmbran development opposed

More than 800 Cwmbran residents have signed a petition objecting to Torfaen County Borough Council‘s proposal to allocate a site next to the Grange Hospital for a mixed-use development including 1,200 homes, a hotel, and a retail centre in the council’s draft replacement local development plan.

Wales Online

Cardiff sports village scheme adds new attractions

A fresh masterplan to complete the International Sports Village scheme in Cardiff Bay has been unveiled. It features a number of proposed new attractions, including a velodrome and zip wire tower.

Wales Online

Newport housing projects

Housing developer Redrow has submitted an application to build 68 new houses in the council-owned former grounds of Queens Comprehensive School in Newport. Meanwhile, the council is considering proposals from housing association Linc Cymru, which wants to locate 12 ‘Zed Pod modular flats’ on part of a car park in the city centre to house homeless people.

Wales Online

Llanelli arcade development backed

A multimillion-pound Llanelli project featuring a mixed-use arcade development including serviced flats, retail, and office floor space alongside bar and restaurant space has been recommended for approval by Carmarthenshire County Council planners.

Insider Media

Abermule housing blocked by council

A 32-home development in Abermule has been refused by Powys County Council.

BBC News

Green light for listed Holyhead surgery conversion

One of the UK’s most at-risk Victorian buildings is to be saved now that the Isle of Anglesey County Council has approved proposals from its own housing department to convert the grade II former GP surgery in Holyhead into social housing, in this case four one-bedroom flats.

BBC News

Live music for revamped Swansea’s Albert Hall

A new live music venue has been announced as one of the first tenants of Swansea’s revamped Victorian Albert Hall, which is being redeveloped at a cost of £8 million as an 800-seat capacity music and entertainment venue. It will also include a boutique aparthotel and a hub for lifestyle businesses and offices.

Insider Media

Pobl Housing’s bid for Gowerton scheme contribution waiver rejected

Swansea City Council members have gone against the advice of officers  and refused a bid by housing provider Pobl Group to amend a legal agreement over an educational contribution, part of the planning consent for a development of 99 houses and flats at a former colliery site in Gowerton.

Wales Online

Updated mobile phone network code of practice published (pdf)

The Welsh Government has published a revised and updated code of practice on the development of the mobile phone network produced jointly between the Welsh administration, planning authorities, and the mobile industry.

Welsh Government

Hirwaun incinerator tall chimney toppled

Proposals for a chimney almost as tall as the Statue of Liberty – part of an incinerator project at Hirwaun on the edge of the Brecon Beacon National Park – have been rejected by members of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council against the advice of officers.

BBC News

River basin consultations

A consultation on how the water environment in the Dee and Western Wales river basin districts can be protected and restored has been launched by Natural Resources Wales.

Natural Resources Wales

Boost for Cardiff tree cover

Cardiff City Council’s ambition  to plant more than 800 hectares of woodland over the next decade has been boosted by a grant of £228,862 from Coed Cadw, the Woodland Trust in Wales.

Cardiff City Council