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Plaid Cymru

Plaid Cymru published their manifesto on the 5 April 2016.  Please see the main points that relate to Planning and the built environment below. Read the full document here.

Planning

  • We will bring forward the process for agreeing Strategic Development Plans (SDP) in each of the proposed RCA areas (outlined in the Local Government section)
  • We will create a National Development Framework (NDF) based on key growth poles and development domains in Wales, with its implementation overseen by an autonomous Welsh Planning Inspectorate.
  • We will strengthen Technical Advice Note (TAN) 20 on the Welsh Language, to reflect the Planning (Wales) Act 2015.
  • We will make it mandatory to produce a change of use planning application for converting a main dwelling into a second home.

Housing

  • Our broad priorities for investment include housing where it would be possible for an additional 10,000 homes to be built beyond current targets for local and affordable housing needs throughout Wales.
  • We will create a nation wide Community Development Corporation that will acquire land at existing use value to develop or sell on for development, at development value.  Investing the uplift in infrastructure, housing and communities.

Affordable Housing

  • We will create a National Housing Company which will borrow against rents to build new public rental houses.
  • We will support Local Authorities whishing to build new council housing.
  • Local Authorities will be expected to agree targets for supplying affordable housing with Welsh Government.  Local Authorities will be able to develop joint plans or work with housing associations to meet housing needs.
  • We will fund the development of new homes in small scale housing developments in rural Wales on 'exception sites' whose land plots, not covered by general planning permission will be capped at an affordable price designed to benefit those in local housing need.
  • We will support the release of public land as self build plots for affordable homes.
  • We will allow housing associations to build their own high quality prefabricated homes.

Infrastructure

  • We will establish a new body, the National Infrastructure Commission Wales (NICW) which will be an independent public corporation that will be responsible for planning, funding and delivering the aspirations set out in the National  Infrastructure Investment Plan.
  • Developments of National Significance would include: a new innovation city in the Cardiff Capital Region; a tri centre Dinas Menai as a new growth pole in north west Wales; a Valleys eco region and a Heart of Wales Development.

Active Travel

  • We will ensure that active travel considerations are incorporated into the planning system.
  • We will ensure walking and cycling is integrated with bus and rail services.

Transport

  • We will create Transport for Wales to oversee the co-ordination and improvement of transport throughout Wales.  Including the preparation and publishing of a new transport plan and supporting active travel.
  • We will undertake an investment programme in all parts of Wales to improve our public transport system and road networks.
  • We will create effective transport infrastructure to link together the regions of Wales.
  • Communities in every part of Wales will be sustainable, well connected and individuals will have access to key amenities and services in their area.
  • We support the urgent development of the south east Metro.
  • We will create a similar style Metro for north Wales, Swansea and the western Valleys.
  • We will create a national rail link from north to south along the west Wales coast.
  • We will ensure viable alternatives to the car.
  • We will ensure new rail links between communities.
  • We will continue investing in new and existing rail stations as hubs for wider commercial development and urban regeneration.

Airports

  • We will publish a new national aviation strategy for Wales

Energy

  • We will amend land use planning legislation to enshrine a fast track route for community owned energy schemes, with a presumption in favour of development .
  • We will create a national strategy based on Wales as a green tech country, positioning us as a global leader in offshore and onshore wind, marine, renewables and micro-generation.
  • We will commission a national inventory of green energy potential in Wales
  • We will prevent fracking and exploration of other forms of unconventional gas, once powers are devolved to Wales.  In the meantime we will update planning guidance to include a new Technical Advice Note (TAN) on unconventional gas.
  • We will not support the development of nuclear power in new locations

Energy Efficient Homes

  • We will create a programme to improve the energy efficiency of housing in Wales with a sustained programme over the next 20 years.
  • We will strengthen Building Regulations and introduce green roofs to ensure more sustainable new homes.
  • We will pursue the roll of energy positive houses.
  • We will implement solar positive policies.

Flooding

  • We will create a greater emphasis on flood prevention in planning guidelines.
  • We will create a Welsh National Flood Forum

Welsh Language

  • We will ensure that the Welsh language will play a key and increasing role in our nations future.

Natural Environment

  • We will promote our natural environment and biodiversity through effective sustainable development.

Local Government

  • We will create up to six regional combined authorities (RCAs) combined of existing local councils.  Alongside the RCAs we will create a new system of Area Councils as a new foundation for Welsh local government.  We will legislate to give these Area Councils additional powers in service delivery including – planning and development control and town centre regeneration.  They will also oversee local housing need in collaboration with housing associations and other providers.

Devolution

  • We believe in a new partnership between nations and regions … which recognises that there are some areas where we should govern ourselves and others by choice or by the nature of the area in question.
  • We will seek agreement on the full devolution of energy, natural resources, rail infrastructure and transport.