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“Complacent” Labour drive through damaging planning reforms without scrutiny

Welsh Conservatives have refused to stand-by, as Welsh Labour Ministers shove major changes to planning law, in relation to energy generating stations, through the Assembly without necessary consultation, or scrutiny.

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party have brought forward subordinate legislation – relating to Developments of National Significance - which will radically restrict the power of Local Planning Authorities in Wales.

Plaid Cymru and the Lib Dems have said they will support the damaging proposals.

Under the law, a definition of a Development of National Significance has been set to include all energy generating stations of between 10-50 Megawatts. As such, the Welsh Government would assume the power to consider any onshore energy generation station within this range.

This is at odds with an earlier proposals; which would only have included energy generating stations of between 25-50 Megawatts.

Russell George AM, Shadow Minister with responsibility for planning, said:

“Labour is seeking to rip away power from Local Planning Authorities, and local communities.

“Welsh Conservatives passionately believe that efforts should be made to ensure many important planning decisions are made closer to the people they represent – but Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour seem hell bent on centralising these important powers; and denying communities a voice.

“Whilst Local Planning Authorities in England are empowered, in Wales they are being denied a say.

“By seeking to shove these proposals into law via secondary legislation, without necessary consultation or scrutiny, this tired Welsh Government are again showing their complacency; and their lack of respect for the views of local people across Wales.

“With Plaid Cymru and the Lib Dems so readily dancing to Labour’s tune; it is again clear that only Welsh Conservatives can be trusted to stand up for localism.”