A Mid Wales Assembly Member has called for the Welsh Government to allow for specific time to ask questions in the Senedd on proposals which could have devastating proposals to Powys’ landscapes.
The Montgomeryshire AM, Russell George, has called on the Welsh Government to make a formal statement in order for the National Assembly for Wales to be able to scrutinise the proposals contained within the Welsh Government's Draft National Development Framework which is currently out for consultation until 1st November.
The National Development Framework is a new development plan which will set the direction for development in Wales from 2020 to 2040. It sets a strategy for addressing the Welsh Government's national priorities through the planning system.
The draft framework, which was published on 7th August, while the National Assembly was on its summer recess, contains proposals which identify zones suitable for "large scale wind development” in over a dozen areas throughout Wales including large areas of Powys.
After requesting the statement on the floor of the Assembly from the Leader of the House this week (Tuesday 24th September) , Mr George said:
“I have been a long-time supporter of protecting the Mid Wales landscape and proposals in this recent Welsh Government consultation are entirely unacceptable.
"I believe that Assembly Members should have the opportunity to question the Welsh Government on the proposals contained within the Draft National Development Plan, a plan that would encourage large scale wind development across Mid Wales.
“In recent times, the Welsh Government has committed a great deal of time to discuss Brexit, over which it has no direct jurisdiction, but is not prepared to devote time to allow Assembly Members to scrutinise its Development Framework proposals on the floor of the Senedd.
“According to the plan, there will be a presumption in favour of large scale on-shore wind development in areas across Powys, and an acceptance of landscape change.
"It includes proposals which could devastate vast swathes of Powys’ landscapes and I would encourage everyone to make their views known before the consultation closes on November 1st.
"In England, it's local councils and communities that have the final say on these kinds of developments. The lack of adequate scrutiny underscores my original fears of the top down nature of this National Development Framework and the considerable additional powers which Welsh Minister are accruing for themselves."
The Draft National Development Framework Consultation is available to view here: https://gov.wales/draft-national-development-framework
The consultation closes on 1st November 2019