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Wales round-up: Planning (Wales) Bill passed, £108m social housing investment

Words: Roger Milne

A round-up of planning news in Wales: 16 May-22 May, 2015

AMs vote through new Planning (Wales) Bill

Legislation that overhauls the Welsh planning system and formally makes the Welsh language a material consideration when applications are considered was approved by 39 to 10 votes in the Senedd this week.

The Planner

Planning (Wales) Bill is a ‘gift from me to you’ – Sargeant

The natural resources minister for Wales, Carl Sargeant, described the Planning (Wales) Bill as “a gift from me to you” at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Wales Planning Conference 2015.

The Planner

Planning research conference requires abstract submissions

The deadline submission date for abstracts for the 2015 UK-Ireland Planning Research Conference is fast approaching.

The Planner

£108 million investment in social housing

An investment of £108 million in Wales’s social housing stock has been announced by communities minister Lesley Griffiths.

Welsh Governent

Welsh Government inspector to decide final fate of Pembrokeshire ‘Hobbit house’

The future of a turf-roofed roundhouse in Pembrokeshire, dubbed the “Hobbit house”, has been considered by a planning inspector this week. He will determine whether the scheme should enjoy retrospective planning permission as a development that meets government guidelines on sustainable development under the so-called One Planet Development policy.

Wales Online

Planning officials order holistic retreat to be removed despite the owners claims they’ve done nothing wrong

The owners of a Welsh ‘holistic’ retreat established on a smallholding near Llandrindod Wells have appealed against an enforcement notice served by Powys County Council requiring them to remove structures including three shepherds’ huts, an eco-classroom, and a ‘tree house’ that has a kitchen, a lounge, off-grid electricity, a hot tub and shower.

Wales Online 

Appeal set to begin for development of more than 1,000 homes that could create ‘nightmare’ for north of Cardiff

A public inquiry has opened into an appeal by South Wales Land Developments into the non-determination by Cardiff City Council of its proposals for 1,200 new homes on land at Lisvane at the northern edge of the Welsh capital.

Wales Online

City Deal for Cardiff could be in jeopardy if city council cannot afford a contribution

A City Deal for Cardiff could be in jeopardy if the city council cannot afford a contribution, warns a report prepared for councillors.

Wales Online

Consultation to protect community facilities launched

Community groups could be given powers to take over and run local landmarks and facilities that are underused or likely to be sold off.

Welsh Government

Fears that M4 relief road could cost Newport docks £30m

Newport docks could lose up to £30 million in investments when the controversial M4 relief road is built through the site, it has been claimed.

BBC News

Giant Pembrokeshire slurry lagoon gets approval

Plans to build a slurry lagoon the size of three Olympic swimming pools has been approved by Pembrokeshire Council despite opposition from nearby residents.

BBC News 

£25m sea 'kite' energy project launched off Holyhead

A £25 million tidal energy project that works through flying ‘kites’ underwater is being launched on Anglesey.

BBC News

Swansea city centre site to be demolished for offices

Plans to regenerate a run-down part of Swansea City Centre and turn it into a business district have taken a first step forward now that the former Oceana nightclub building is set to be demolished and replaced with an office block.

BBC News 

Assembly committee opens consultation on wide-ranging environment bill

The National Assembly for Wales’s Environment and Sustainability Committee has begun public consultation on the Environment (Wales) Bill.

National Assembly for Wales

National park’s concern over 12m-high McDonald’s sign

Fast food restaurant company McDonald’s is to review the height of a 12m-high sign at a proposed restaurant after a complaint from the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority that it would be detrimental to the character of the area and intrude on the skyline.

BBC News

Studies demonstrate housing need in Wales

Planning consultancy Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners has launched two studies highlighting current housing issues.

Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners