Mike Hedges AM welcomes announcement of plans for more urban living – and thousands of new council homes – as part of a development vision for Wales by 2040.

Mike Hedges AM welcomes announcement of plans for more urban living – and thousands of new council homes – as part of a development vision for Wales by 2040.

 

Speaking from his Swansea East Office, Mike Hedges AM said.. ‘I have been at the forefront of calls for new council house building to be at the heart of a new urban regeneration strategy which addresses the housing crisis in Wales, so naturally I welcome this announcement. I have welcomed the council house building which has occurred in Wales in the last few years, but it needs to be on a much larger scale if we are to address the housing crisis faced by many young families in my constituency. As well as building new council houses, local authorities in partnership with the Welsh Government and others need to challenge the negative stereotypes which are associated with living in a council property. They have been seen as the housing choice of last resort; they need to be seen as a choice for all types of people and all income profiles. I will do my utmost to support the large scale building of council houses in Swansea and elsewhere in Wales.’
A new planning framework aims to show where new homes, jobs and services need to be over the next 20 years.
Proposals also set out priority areas for large-scale wind and solar energy projects.
Housing Minister Julie James said she was committed to building more council housing “at pace and scale”.
She said the proposals – outlined in the National Development Framework – were also about bringing closer together the places where people live and work.
KEY POINTS
 An extra 114,000 homes are needed over the next 20 years – including 3,900 affordable or council homes a year
 Urban development “clusters” around Cardiff, Newport and the Valleys; Swansea Bay and Llanelli; Wrexham and Deeside
 Developments around public transport corridors and hubs, such as Metro stations
 High density does not necessarily mean high rise – and developments should still create “good quality of life” and green infrastructure
 In rural areas, priorities to encourage the food and drink sector, energy and tourism – as well as improved broadband
 Presumption in favour of large on-shore wind and solar energy developments in priority areas, as part of a target to generate 70% of electricity from renewables by 2030 – although this is not appropriate for national parks or areas of outstanding natural beauty
 Potential for “district heat networks” to provide low carbon heat from central sources – especially in urban areas, including Cardiff, Newport, Swansea, Wrexham and towns such as Barry, Brecon and Cwmbran
 More charging points to support increasing use of electric vehicles
 Increased emphasis on biodiversity – ensuring long-term future land need of species and habitats are protected; green space as part of development in urban areas
 An increase in woodland – developing a national forest across a number of locations will help achieve a target of 2,000 extra hectares a year from 2020
 Presumption to support new mobile telecom infrastructure in planning.