Welsh vision built on council housing

9 Aug 19

Thousands of new council homes supplied by green energy are at the heart of a vision for Wales put forward by the region’s government.

Priority areas to site large-scale wind and solar energy generation are central to the National Development Framework unveiled this week.

A consultation on the draft proposals aiming to set a direction for where new homes, jobs and services will be located in the principality has been launched online and will run until 1 November.

“We want to promote sustainable growth in Wales, focused around existing towns and cities,” said Julie James, the Welsh housing and local government minister.

“This strategy is sufficiently flexible to respond to the challenges of the next 20 years. 

“We are ambitious to increase the amount of renewable energy generated here in Wales: the National Development Framework sets out where we believe large-scale renewable energy projects should be located in Wales.

“We know that Wales needs more good quality housing, to develop renewable energy, and for people to be able to access well-paid jobs close to where they live.

“I am committed to building more council housing at pace and scale in Wales, and to see far more affordable homes to rent from councils and other social landlords.”

The proposals envisage the need for an extra 114,000 homes in Wales over the next 20 years, including 3,900 council homes per year. 

They identify out new priority areas for large-scale wind and solar projects to replace Tan 8, the “technical advice note” that sets out the region’s existing energy strategy. 

This presumes in favour of large on-shore wind and solar energy developments in priority areas as part of a target to generate 70% of electricity from renewables by 2030.

The Welsh proposals will focus development on existing cities and towns to ensure that homes, jobs and services are located in the same area.

The National Development Framework identifies nationally significant ‘urban clusters’ where large-scale housing and employment growth will be concentrated: Cardiff, Newport and the Valleys, Swansea Bay and Llanelli, and Wrexham and Deeside.

However, it does not neglect the countryside and the Welsh government’s vision foresees an increase in woodland in a bid to achieve a target of 2,000 extra hectares a year from 2020.

James added: “I want a planning system that consistently meets all our needs and for our villages, towns and cities to be organised in a way that makes it easier to live healthy and active lives, for us and for future generations.” 

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