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Wales Green Party

Wales Green Party published their manifesto on the 12 April 2016.  Please see the main points that relate to Planning and the built environment below. Read the full document here.

Housing

  • At least 12,000 homes to be provided each year, of which at least a third must be social housing. 
  • Initial emphasis would be placed on reactivating vacant properties.  We would seek to introduce Right to Rent legislation.
  • We will launch a ten year programme of investment in Wales' housing stock to make properties more energy efficient.
  • Make upgrading our old inefficient housing stock a national infrastructure priority.
  • Use planning legislation to require new housing developments to include district heating schemes, onsite generation from small scale renewables, and integrated energy storage as appropriate.
  • Require new build properties to meet the highest standards of energy efficiency, such as Passivhaus.
  • Make walking and cycling safer.  We will support the development of 'Home Zones', develop new safe cycle and walking routes to link communities and services and implement a 20mph speed limit in all residential areas including through rural villages.
  • Ensure that all existing social housing and housing association building stock is brought up to level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes by 2020.
  • Update Part L of the Building Regulations in Wales for all new buildings to be carbon positive by 2020.
  • Ensure that no new housing is built on flood plains.
  • Address land banking by ensuring that planning permissions for housing developments need to be implemented within 3 years rather than the current 5 years.

Energy

  • We will commit to meeting all electricity demand in Wales from renewable sources by 2030.
  • We will ban fracking. 
  • We will create an innovative green economy based on local micro and small scale, renewable generation projects across Wales, and invest in the national grid so it is fit for the future.
  • We would fight Westminster not to invest in nuclear in Wales.
  • Require all councils in Wales to implement community energy strategies in their area.
  • Give communities a say on big decisions on planning and energy infrastructure but ensure projects give something back through community benefit funds.

Marine

  • Fully implement a large scale ecologically coherent network of Marine Protected Areas around the coast of Wales. 
  • Write Marine Spatial Plans in consultation with coastal communities as well as experts.  These plans will embody a requirement for sustainability; adopt an ecosystems approach and recognise the precautionary principle.  Different scale Marine Spatial Plans will be integrated and conform to the subsidiarity principle.
  • Support and accelerate the development of tidal lagoons in Wales by requiring Natural Resources Wales to streamline the application process for Marine Licences.

Transport

  • We will bring back the North South rail link.  Invest in the South Wales and Valleys rail electrification, the South East Metro and the rail connection between Aberystwyth and Carmarthen.  In mid Wales we will make improvements to the Cambrian Line and the Heart of Wales line, and in North Wales we will improve rail links with the North of England. 
  • We would cancel the planned expansion of the M4 and redirect the 1 billion investment to public transport improvements.
  • Work closely with the green technology sector to ensure Wales has the infrastructure skills and policies to support widespread use of electricity and heat storage and electric vehicles.
  • Explore and pilot new methods of providing transport particularly in rural areas such as developing community based car sharing, electric car, and bicycle hire at railway stations and community run bus routes.

Infrastructure

  • Create a Wales Fund for infrastructure, energy and homes in Wales requiring public sector pension funds to invest a minimum of 5% of their holdings in the fund.

Rural areas

  • Develop planning policies that allocate land in green belts around larger settlements for small farms, market gardens, dairies and forestry enterprises.
  • Support sustainable diversification and multiple use of agricultural land and buildings to ensure that farms have strong and multiple incomes.

Community

  • Support community access to land for growing and food preparation resources, including community gardens, community kitchens and allotments.
  • Ensure that allotments are protected in local plans and encourage councils to open more allotments where there is demand.
  • We will seek specific legislation to ensure access to a minimum level of public services within a legally defined distance or travel time.

  • We will work to ensure that all communities across Wales including rural areas have access to the services they require such as libraries, post offices, GP surgeries, dentists, schools, high speed broadband and public transport connections.

Tourism

  • Ensure that all new tourism developments have year round community uses specified in their planning consent, improving community facilities and providing year round income for employees.

Biodiversity

  • Ensure that habitats are managed to their best potential through the enforcement of legislation and the direction of subsidy.

Climate change

  • We will make Wales a leader in tackling this global problem by raising the ambition of emissions reduction targets and setting out infrastructure priorities to meet these targets, such as energy, housing and transport.
  • We will incentivise green businesses to base themselves in our communities, ensuring Wales is an incubator for the innovation needed to tackle this global threat.
  • We will work to manage and alleviate the impacts of climate change and help those suffering in Wales especially from flooding and sea level rise.
  • We will ensure the Future Generations and Environment Acts have real impact rather than being purely aspirational. 
  • Work with Natural Resources Wales to ensure the implementation of their Flood Risk Management Plans to safeguard homes businesses and transport links.
  • Evaluate the creation of new National River Parks in Wales to coordinate the management of integrated land use in river catchments for flood drought and water quality management.

Employment

  • The development of renewable energy technologies is worth billions of pounds to Wales and together with a programme of mass investment in improving our housing stock, will create tens of thousands of high quality jobs. 
  • We will prepare a sustainable infrastructure plan for the next 50 years to place Wales at the forefront of emerging global green economies, and will ensure this includes far more apprenticeships all across Wales.

Democracy

  • Local government must be more open and democratic.

Devolution

  • Seek greater devolution of independent decision making from Westminster.
  • Further devolve powers to local government where appropriate to bring decision making closer to people.