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Plan The Wales We Need

What the results of the Welsh Parliament elections in 2021 mean for our election asks.

Welsh Labour won 30 of the 60 seats in the Senedd at the May 2021 elections and has formed the next Welsh Government.

You can read our summary analysis below or download our detailed analysis here.

Manifesto meets many key needs

The Welsh Labour manifesto met many of the key issues raised by the RTPI, including tackling climate action, investing in public transport and active travel, and the delivery of quality affordable homes, including a focus on strengthening Welsh language communities.

The RTPI’s Plan the World we Need Campaign called for “a common purpose among a wide range of stakeholders, coordinating decisions about land use, infrastructure, resources and investments” to encourage a behavioural change over time. 

We therefore welcome Welsh Labour’s commitment to launching a new 10-year Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan for a zerocarbon economy. This will be vital in supporting Wales in meeting its challenging climate change targets moving forward. However it is essential that this reads directly across to Future Wales and there is direct synergy. There was no mention of Future Wales – The National Plan 2040 in the manifesto and given its status as development plan for Wales and a world first achieved by the Welsh Labour Government it should be central to the Government’s plans.

We support Welsh Labour’s pledge to coordinate regional transport and land use planning, along with the strengthened promotion of walking and cycling, both important priorities which the RTPI has long called for.

Wales already has a strong legislative framework in place addressing wellbeing, environmental and climate action issues.  We believe this framework will be further strengthened by Welsh Labour’s proposal for a Clean Air Act which aims to “extend the provision of air quality monitoring to encourage positive behaviour change”. 

RTPI Cymru looks forward to working closely with Welsh Government and stakeholders on the development of this proposal to ensure appropriate linkages are made to planning policy. However missing from the manifesto is a commitment to bring forward new bills on planning law consolidation – of which much of the work has already been done – which will reduce ambiguities in the current law which has developed over many years of changes in the law. There was also no commitment to bring forward legislation on infrastructure consenting – this is urgently needed for Wales to effectively make the decisions on the large scale infrastructure devolved to it by the Wales Act 2017.

We welcome the commitment to fund additional flood protection along with the focus around nature-based flood management, in particular in relation to sustainable drainage systems that provide wildlife habitats.  We also look forward to further details on the National Forest for Wales, as set out in Future Wales – The National Plan 2040.

We will continue to work with the Welsh Government to support an effective planning service for Wales.  As a key priority we will continue to highlight the need to invest in planning services to enable the delivery of sustainable development on the ground. 

RTPI Cymru looks forward to building on the relationship we have had with the Government which recognises how planners, planning and the planning system can support their ambitions.  As essential components to delivering an effective planning system, we will continue to engage on the opportunities for the introduction of a chartered town planning apprenticeships and establishing the role of the Chief Planning Officers within Local Planning Authorities.

RTPI Cymru published its asks of the next Welsh Government in advance of the elections.  Here we compare the commitments of the Welsh Labour Manifesto with our asks.  Read the Welsh Government Programme for Government 2021 - 2026 which sets out the activities and commitments of Government over the next five years.