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Wales round-up: Ministers mull over new legislation for national parks and AONBs; Solar farm could be built on the ancient Gwent Levels

Words: Roger Milne

A round-up of planning news in Wales: 6 May-11 May, 2017

Welsh ministers mull over new legislation for national parks and AONBs

The Welsh Government has announced that it is considering legal changes to the landscape protection regimes in place for national parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs).

The Planner

Letter for appeals, costs and compulsory purchase orders published

Chief planner Neil Hemington has written to all chief planning officers reminding them that changes to legislation and guidance for appeals, costs, standard daily amounts and compulsory purchase orders came into effect from 5 May.

Welsh Government

Solar farm could be built on the ancient Gwent Levels

Proposals for a 49.9-megawatt solar farm earmarked for 139-hectare site on the Gwent Levels have drawn concern from campaigners, despite no application having been submitted yet.

Wales Online

750 homes plan for garden village depends on future inquiry

A public inquiry, scheduled for September, aims to help determine whether a housebuilder can build a ‘garden village’ on common land near Gorseinon on the edge of Swansea.

Wales Online

Wales a popular choice with day visitors in 2017

New figures have suggested that in the 12 months ending March 2017, there were 104.6 million tourism day visits to Wales, an increase of more than 24 per cent compared with the previous 12 months.

Welsh Government

New school plans for a Swansea park back on track

A public enquiry has ruled that a Swansea park doesn't qualify for village green status, opening the door for a new school to be built at the location.

Wales Online

Brynglas tunnels ‘cost £31m in lost time’ a year

The public inquiry into the government’s proposals for a new six-lane motorway to the south of Newport has been told that the M4’s Brynglas tunnels at Newport are the most-congested stretch of city motorway in the UK, aside from London’s M25, according to traffic data.

BBC News

New office block plans announced

Plans for the next phase of Cardiff’s Central Square regeneration scheme, with a new 12-storey office scheme that could house 2,000 workers and a public square featuring an outdoor cinema, have been revealed.

Wales Online

Skates launches UK’s first statutory list of historic place names

A new online resource that has recorded nearly 350,000 historic place names in Wales has been launched.

Welsh Government

Blackpool Mill ‘theme park’ railway proposals deferred

Bluestone, owner of a holiday village in Pembrokeshire, is reconsidering proposals to turn a 19th century mill into a heritage attraction following a critical report into the scheme for Blackpool Mill, Martletwy, by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority

BBC News

Development management survey published

The administration has issued its latest quarterly development management survey providing statistical information about the handling of planning applications by local planning authorities.

Welsh Government

Man to get rid of new driveway or face court

Swansea Council has told a Newton resident he acted illegally in turning part of his front garden into a driveway. The property affected is in a conservation area.

Wales Online

Welsh Government investment is catalyst for world’s first compound semiconductor cluster

First Minister Carwyn Jones has welcomed plans to create a world-leading technology cluster in Newport that is expected to create more than 2,000 jobs and is backed by £12 million of Welsh Government funding. The compound semiconductor cluster is the first project to be supported by the £1.2 billion city deal.

Welsh Government

Affordable homes for Bridgend

An affordable housing development will see 48 new homes created for local people in Bridgend.

Wales Online

Laugharne could have up to 42 new homes opposite its primary school

Plans have been lodged for a new housing development in Laugharne, which could see 42 new homes built if approved. The site earmarked is located opposite the township’s primary school.

Wales Online

New plans lodged for Rothbury House redevelopment

New proposals have been submitted to redevelop the historic Rothbury House in Newport, following the refusal of the previous scheme at the end of 2015.

Insider Media

Penparcau group unearths Bronze Age find at Pen Dinas hillfort

A suspected Bronze Age burial mound has been found in Ceredigion during a community-led heritage and environment project run by Penparcau Community Forum.

BBC News

Shortlist for new Development Bank of Wales HQ

Finance Wales has shortlisted properties in North Wales with capacity to accommodate more than 50 staff to become the headquarters of the new Development Bank of Wales, the Welsh Government has confirmed.

Welsh Government