A fracking free future for Wales? Assembly to debate proposal for an anti-fracking bill

Darllenwch yr erthygl yma yn Gymraeg | View this post in Welsh

On 25 October 2017 the Assembly will debate a Member’s legislative proposal from Simon Thomas AM for a bill to amend the planning system so that there is a presumption against planning permission for hydraulic fracturing (fracking). The stated purpose of the bill is to protect the landscape of Wales and public health. The bill extends from a commitment set out in the Plaid Cymru Programme for Opposition to “seek a complete ban on fracking” and the 2016 Plaid Cymru manifesto which stated:

A Plaid Cymru government will prevent hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) and the exploitation of other forms of unconventional gas as soon as the powers are devolved through the Wales Act. In the meantime we will update planning guidance to include a new Technical Advice Note on unconventional gas.

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New Publication: The Planning Series 15 – Compulsory Purchase Orders

Darllenwch yr erthygl yma yn Gymraeg | View this post in Welsh

Compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) allow certain bodies to obtain land or property without the consent of the owner. A CPO is a tool used to facilitate developments that are considered to be in the public’s interest and on land the owner does not want to sell. This quick guide provides a background to CPOs; legislative powers, competent authorities, the objection process, compensation and devolution of CPOs.

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New Publication: The Planning Series: 10 – Environmental Impact Assessment

Darllenwch yr erthygl yma yn Gymraeg | View this post in Welsh

This quick guide gives an overview of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). EIA is a procedure that ensures that the environmental implications of developments are taken into account before planning decisions are made. This paper outlines what EIAs are, when they are required, screening, what happens to planning applications without an Environmental Statement, what EIAs have to include, how Environmental Statements are taken into account and the revisions to the EIA Directive.

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New Publication: The Planning Series: 07 – Enforcement

Darllenwch yr erthygl yma yn Gymraeg | View this post in Welsh

This briefing provides an overview of the planning enforcement system. It sets out what enforcement is, when enforcement action can take place, types of enforcement action, time limits, Welsh Government enforcement, and appeals against enforcement action. It also sets out how the Planning (Wales) Act 2015 has changed the planning enforcement system.

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Live music protection: Assembly Members to debate petition

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On Wednesday 12 July, Assembly Members will debate a petition calling for live music venues to be protected. The petition caught the imagination of live music lovers in Wales and collected over 5,000 signatures.

This is the first time an Assembly petition has been signed by over 5,000 people since the new petitions process was introduced in March. The changes allow the Petitions Committee to request an Assembly debate on any petition collecting over 5,000 signatures.

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The National Development Framework for Wales: what is it and when is it due?

Darllenwch yr erthygl yma yn Gymraeg | View this post in Welsh

The approach to strategic land use planning in Wales is changing. The Planning (Wales) Act 2015 introduces two new levels of development plan, which will sit above the existing local development plans (LDPs):

  • A National Development Framework (NDF) covering the whole of Wales. The NDF will set out the Welsh Government’s policies on development and land use in a spatial context, and replace the Wales Spatial Plan; and
  • Strategic Development Plans (SDPs) – these are regional plans that will sit between the NDF and LDPs in certain parts of Wales, and will deal with issues that cut across a number of local planning authority areas (but are not of national significance).

This post focuses on the NDF; further reading on SDPs and LDPs can be found in our local planning policy briefing (PDF 1MB) and in the Welsh Government’s Development Plan Prospectus.

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Half a million voices: record-breaking response defends EU Nature Directives

Darllenwch yr erthygl yma yn Gymraeg | View this post in Welsh

The Nature Directives are two key pieces of EU legislation that underpin the protection of wildlife and habitats – often considered the cornerstones of environmental law in Europe.

When the European Commission announced in 2014 it was evaluating these Directives via a ‘Fitness Check’, it was met with an unprecedented reaction: there were over 550,000 responses from the public.

Views on the Nature Directives came from far and wide across the EU. So what exactly are these Directives? And what was the outcome of the evaluation?

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