As England Abolishes Regional Planning Wales Introduces it #NPPF

Wales Online

BUSINESS Minister Edwina Hart has indicated that she would like to see a regional approach to planning in Wales.

Mrs Hart has again also signalled that she is supportive of a city-region approach to economic development.

The minister shared her vision for economic development in Wales when she addressed the South East Wales Economic Forum – where its members were able to question her.

Mrs Hart called for better definition of areas on which to focus economic development.

In terms of planning she told the forum that she would like to see more done on a city-region basis.

She also outlined some of the practical suggestions that were emerging from the advisory panels supporting her Government’s sector support teams – where she recently added tourism, construction and agriculture to the six established teams – and stated her wish to turn these into action.

Local authorities like Cardiff are calling for a regional approach to local development plans – due to fact that it is limited in terms of available land for new housing developments to meet demand. However, if based on a wider regional approach there is enough land available for housing developments in nearby local authority areas.

Mrs Hart: “I am listening to business proposals on where investment needs to be made for the long term, what they want from enterprise zones, how local firms can win more from public procurement.

“We need to abandon nimbyism and have an all-Wales, strategic approach to economic development, not spread the jam too thin.”

The forum discussed ways to achieve a business-friendly, joined-up approach by the Welsh Government and local authorities to business support services, the promotion of apprenticeships, as well as calling for a single point of contact in the Welsh Government on grants and loans.

Chair of the forum Derek Jones said: “Firm proposals for future economic development planning to be on a city-region basis, starting with the next round of European Structural Funds, would be a real breakthrough.”

The forum represents a variety of public and private sector stakeholders in the economy of South East Wales, including local authorities.


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