The announcement follows the Minister’s statement on 8th June in which she highlighted the need to update planning policy and outlined the way that this would be done,
Earlier in the year the Assembly Government set out its aspirations for a move to renewable energy in Wales. Today’s plans propose changes to national planning policy on renewable energy that will ensure that that the move to greener energy is as joined up and smooth as possible.
The plans will also ensure that renewable energy is a key consideration for Local Planning Authorities when drawing up their future plans and taking decisions on individual applications.
Speaking about the plans, the Minister said:
“Climate change continues to be one of the greatest threats to mankind and we know that the build up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is directly linked to our increasing use of fossil fuels.
“The Welsh Assembly Government is committed to taking action to reduce carbon emissions and one key way of ensuring this is through a transition to renewable energy.
“The planning system has an important role to play in this transition. It must provide an enabling framework for renewable energy projects and ensure they are placed in the most suitable locations, whilst at the same time balancing the local environmental consequences of proposed development. “
The Assembly Government is consulting on a number of changes to existing planning policy that will give greater clarity on the role of the planning system in enabling renewable energy the Minister has stressed that changes will not affect the Strategic Search Areas already identified in Technical Advice Note 8.
The proposals include:
- Identifying different scales of renewable energy development for planning policy purposes
- New considerations for Local Planning Authorities in preparing their Local Development Plan, which include targets for the delivery of renewable energy, and the allocation of suggested sites for difference scales of renewable energy developments.
- New criteria for Local Planning Authorities in taking decisions on renewable energy development.
The new policy is supported by a number of research and guidance documents that will assist local authorities, householders communities and businesses in decision making around renewable energy.
The consultation will run from 16 July to 8 October.