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Wales round-up: "super councils" plan, Rhyl regeneration

Words: Roger Milne

A round-up of planning news in Wales: 6-12 September, 2014

Watchdog says Cardiff Council’s land asset management is poor

Cardiff council is failing to improve its services because of "fragmented leadership and management", says Wales's public spending watchdog, which has highlighted that the local authority is not managing its land and property assets well.

The Planner   

Welsh "super council" plan proposed

Four “super councils” like Greater Manchester’s regional authority should be created in Wales, proposes a discussion paper published by the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA).

The Planner  

Minister announces research into houses in multiple occupation

The Welsh Government has commissioned research into the impact of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). In addition to collecting evidence, the research will examine how local authorities are tackling problems caused by high concentrations of HMOs - generally student accommodation - in their area. The research will be completed early next year.

 Welsh Government press release    

Light at the end of the tunnel for Cardiff commercial property market

The Cardiff city centre office market is showing clear signs of improvement after years of limited development and letting activity, according to media reports. Last year, for example, saw the lowest level of take-up in Cardiff for more than 12 years, with only 298,500 sq ft across 104 office transactions. By comparison, the first two quarters of 2014 have already witnessed over 256,000 sq ft of office transactions in Cardiff, with the first quarter take-up 149,000 sq ft and Q2 some 107,000 sq ft.

Wales Online  

Wrexham egg factory with 17,000 birds refused permission

Proposals for an “egg factory” housing more than 17,000 chickens have again been refused by Wrexham Council members. The development, earmarked for Talwrn Farm and rejected in July 2013, was once again thrown out, despite being recommended for approval by officers.

BBC News 

£6.7m historic garden restoration bid

Experts hope to unearth the original landscape on the historic site of the National Botanic Garden of Wales in Carmarthenshire in a £6.7 million project. If given the go-ahead it will see the restoration of seven lakes and waterfalls created 200 years ago when it was home to a wealthy family. The garden has just been awarded £300,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to develop the plans. The project also aims to uncover the estate's original Middleton Hall.

BBC News Wales 

£1m regeneration project for Rhyl announced

Carl Sargeant, Minister for Housing and Regeneration, has highlighted what communities in Rhyl can look forward to owing to £1 million from the Welsh Government’s Tackling Poverty Fund. The money will be spent on the regeneration of the Queen Street Building – a property that has been empty for over 20 years.

Welsh Government press release