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Twenty year vision for development in Wales set out

Amlinellu gweledigaeth ugain mlynedd ar gyfer datblygu yng Nghymru

Housing and Local Government Minister Julie James has launched Future Wales, which sets out where housing, employment and infrastructure should be developed to support our town and city centres, achieve decarbonisation and climate resilience, and to improve the health and well-being of our communities.

The national spatial strategy sets out a vision for development in Wales to 2040.

The plan:

  • Focuses on growing existing urban areas and ensuring that homes, jobs and services are located in the same area;
  • Identifies Wrexham and Deeside; Cardiff, Newport and the Valleys, and Swansea Bay and Llanelli as nationally significant areas for growth;
  • Gives councils stronger tools to refuse planning permission for new out of town retail parks and other developments that would be better located in town centres;
  • Sets out new priority areas for large-scale wind and solar energy development to replace Tan 8.

Julie James said:

“The past year has shown us just how important where we live is to our health and happiness. It’s easier to be healthy and active when we have safe and attractive green space nearby. If more of us are able to work locally or at home we can shorten commutes, reduce congestion and use our local high streets more.

“We have already committed to a ‘Town Centre First’ approach, which means locating services and buildings in town centres wherever possible. This plan will help to deliver it.

“This plan sets out our priorities for growth in employment and housing, in particular affordable housing. It sets out a vision for our villages, towns and cities developing at a walkable scale, with homes, local facilities, green spaces and public transport within easy reach.

“This work predates the COVID-19 pandemic but living through it has brought home for everyone how important liveable communities are to our health and wellbeing.”

Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport Lee Waters said:

“We have a long-term ambition to see around 30% of the workforce in Wales working from home or working remotely.

“We know that if people have more flexibility in where they work, they can avoid a lengthy commute, reduce road congestion, which plays a part in improving air quality.

“As part of our ‘Transforming Towns’ vision we hope to capture the benefits for our towns and communities and create new opportunities for regeneration and economic activity. By planning our neighbourhoods so we can live, work and socialise, we have opportunities to reduce congestion and pollution, and create work-life balance benefits for employees and employers.

“We have just launched our Economic Resilience and Reconstruction Mission, which sets out how we will reconstruct and rebuild Wales’ economy so it is more prosperous, equal and greener than ever before. The way we plan our communities has a significant role to play in this.”

Notes to editors

Embargoed until 00:01h Wednesday February 24 2021

 **Diary Marker  - not for publication, broadcast or social media**

Media opp: Twenty year vision for development in Wales set out

As the Welsh Government launches Future Wales, the planning vision for Wales to 2040, filming opportunities are available Parc yr Helig, Birchgrove, Swansea.

Journalists can meet and interview a resident of the area and film them outside their home. Housing and Local Government Minister Julie James is also available for interview on Monday. Efa Lois Thomas from the Design Commission is also available for interview in English and in Welsh.

The energy efficient homes have solar panels and store power in batteries in each of the properties. They are heated using ground source heating technology. Swansea Council received £1.5m million from the Welsh Government’s Innovative Housing Programme to develop these homes as power stations and residents moved in to the sixteen new properties towards the end of last year.

The Press Notice is attached under embargo until 00:01hrs Wednesday 24 February 2021.

For further information, for a copy of the plan or to confirm your attendance, please contact Marie Concannon on 07890 554 904 or or