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Wales round-up: NRW publishes first set of area statements; James introduces emergency permitted development rights to help NHS

Words: Roger Milne

A round-up of planning news in Wales: 28 March-3 April, 2020

NRW publishes first set of area statements

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) published a series of innovative area statements this week covering seven separate but hugely diverse parts of the country.

The Planner

James introduces emergency permitted development rights to help NHS

Welsh housing minister Julie James has introduced emergency temporary permitted development rights to allow local authorities to change the use of buildings without planning permission during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

The Planner

CAP appoints Ian Tant as vice-president

Ian Tant has been appointed as vice-president of the Commonwealth Association of Planners (CAP). The immediate past president of the RTPI will serve in this role for two years.

The Planner

COP26 postponed due to Covid-19

The COP26 UN climate change crisis has been postponed until 2021 because of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.

The Planner

Construction contract values achieve year-on-year increase

Construction contract values totalled £6.5 billion in February 2020 – 19.9 per cent up on those for February 2019, according to analysis published by Barbour ABI. Wales accounted for 2.4 per cent of construction contracts awarded.

The Planner

Capital science park initiative

Garrison Barclay Estates has revealed development proposals for its Cardiff Edge Life Science Park involving five new self-contained buildings providing over 23,225 square metres of R&D laboratory space and grade A office accommodation, as well as a multistorey car park, at its site near junction 32 of the M4.

Wales Online

Snowdonia pylon project

National Grid has submitted plans to remove 10 pylons and replace them with a 3-kilometre tunnel under the Dwyryd Estuary in Gwynedd, on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park.

BBC News

Afan Valley Adventure Resort lifeline

Backers behind the troubled £200 million Afan Valley Adventure Resort have been thrown a lifeline by Neath Port Talbot Council, whose leader has extended the deadline for the submission of key material and legal assurances required under the terms of the outline permission granted 12 months ago and originally due by this week.

Wales Online

Key role for Newport in electric revolution

Newport has been chosen to be part of a UK network to develop technology to help the country transition to a greener economy. The move will see the city hosting a so-called Driving the Electric Revolution Industrialisation Centre based at the Compound Semiconductor Applications innovation centre at Imperial Park.

Insider Media

Last coal plant shuts down

Aberthaw B Power Station, the last coal-fired power plant in Wales and a prominent landmark in the Vale of Glamorgan, was officially shut down this week after five decades in operation. It will be decommissioned by its owner RWE, Generation UK.

Wales Online

Wylfa Newydd DCO deferred

Business and energy secretary Alok Sharma has deferred a decision on the development consent order (DCO) for the Wylfa Newydd nuclear power project on Anglesey until 30 September. This second deferral is to allow more time for the consideration of environmental effects and other issues.

Planning Inspectorate 

Celtic Sea offshore wind scheme moves

MarineSpace has been appointed as lead offshore environmental impact assessment consultant for the 96-megawatt Erebus floating offshore wind project in the Celtic Sea, located 45 kilometres off the Pembrokeshire coast. The Southampton-based company will work closely with consultancy ITPE, which is responsible for the onshore EIA. 

Insider Media

Land supply policy change confirmed

The Welsh Government has confirmed that it will revise Planning Policy Wales (PPW) by implementing the replacement of the five-year housing land supply policy by the monitoring of housing delivery against local development plan housing trajectories. This will involve the revocation of TAN 1 (Joint Housing Land Availability Studies) and the publication of Edition 3 of the Development Plans Manual. These changes will be incorporated in a new edition of PPW in the autumn of 2020.

Welsh Government