[lg policy] Planning and the Welsh Language - Technical Advice Note 20

Dave Sayers dave.sayers at CANTAB.NET
Thu Oct 10 13:58:56 UTC 2013

Hi everyone,

The following guidance document may be of interest to some: http://goo.gl/ysA9sF. 
It's new guidance (published yesterday) for local government authorities in Wales, 
about the effect of development on the Welsh language. (I seem to recall that this 
sort of thing has a longer history in Ireland with regard to Irish...?) The thrust of 
this new guidance is aptly summed up in section 1.4.2 of the document:

"Local Development Plans are intended to be focused on local issues and objectives, 
informed by relevant community strategies and an evidence base. Depending on what 
significance is assigned to the Welsh language in a plan area or part of the area, 
one of the issues that LDPs may need to address is how the land use planning system 
can be used to consider and, if necessary, mitigate any effects of development on the 
Welsh language and the sustainability of Welsh language communities."

The document is interesting in terms of its normative stance, its epistemological 
construction of the Welsh language, and its balancing of concurrent political 
priorities. One particularly interesting aspect is the balancing of two related but 
distinct priorities: the language itself (as an abstract entity), and the speakers of 
the language (human beings). Throughout the document, Welsh speakers are mentioned 
seven times, whilst the Welsh language is mentioned 54 times (that is, outside 
titular settings like 'Welsh Language Commissioner'). These are not exact figures, 
just my first search through, but they give a window into a balance of emphases.

Plenty more to say about all this but marking beckons!


Dr. Dave Sayers
Honorary Research Fellow, Arts & Humanities, Swansea University, UK
Visiting Lecturer (2013-14), Dept English, University of Turku, Finland
dave.sayers at cantab.net

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