[lg policy] Calls for impact of new housing developments on Welsh language to be assessed
haroldfs at gmail.com
Fri Apr 27 10:37:44 EDT 2018
Calls for impact of new housing developments on Welsh language to be
Builders who want to build five or more homes together may have to consider
the issue before seeking planning permission
- 05:00, 27 APR 2018
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Builders who want to create developments of five or more homes could be
forced to assess the impact on the Welsh language before planning
permission is given.
At a meeting in Llangefni this morning, members of Anglesey and Gwynedd’s
Joint Planning Policy Committee resolved to seek Welsh Government guidance
if they can bolster the Joint Local Development Plan.
The plan, which was separately ratified by both authorities last year,
proposes where up to 7,184 new homes should be build across Gwynedd and
Anglesey in the period up to 2026.
But members of Gwynedd Council’s Scrutiny Working Group on Planning and the
Welsh Language, urged the joint committee to adopt further measures that
would result in any developments of five or more homes in rural areas and
10 or more in more urban areas, having to hold a public consultation and
include a language impact assessment as part of the application.
As part of the already adopted plan, public consultations before submitting
a planning application are only mandatory in developments of 10 or more
homes and the necessity of language impact assessments depend on the nature
of the development.
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Cllr Seimon Glyn, who chairs the working group, said: “I understand that
when the Joint Local Development Plan was adopted, there were strong
feelings on both sides of the argument.
“But there is real concern that if things continue as they are, the
percentage of Welsh speakers in Gwynedd will end up hovering over the 50%
mark, which is already the situation on Anglesey and could get worse.
“Planning alone isn’t enough to stem the flow of course, but that’s what
we’re discussing now and I urge the committee to take on board our
“It is possible to change policy, nothing has to be set in stone.”
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But while planning officers for both authorities pointed out that there was
provision in the adopted development plan for the Welsh language to be used
as a relevant planning consideration, most members felt that this did not
go far enough.
Planning officer Nia Haf Davies, told members: “There are statutory steps
that have to be taken if you want to make changes to the adopted plan.
“This includes annual monitoring of the plan as it is, followed by a
statutory review and further consultation.”
“It must be demonstrated why a policy is failing before it can be changed.”
But Cllr Owain Williams responded: “Considering the severity of the
situation, I don’t think we can wait.
“The economy is key to the future of the Welsh language, there’s no doubt
“But building five homes in a village of, say 50 people, is a huge
development that could potentially have a massive impact on its character.”
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Cllr John Pughe Roberts, added: “If the Welsh Government wants to realise
its target of a million Welsh speakers by 2050, then they have to be
flexible with us.
“The least we can do is ask the Welsh Government in this instance, we have
nothing to lose.”
Members resolved to seek further legal advice on the authorities’
Supplementary Planning Guidance before going out to public consultation,
while also carrying out further talks with the Welsh Government if their
own adaptations can be adopted as part of the plan.
Harold F. Schiffman
Professor Emeritus of
Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305
Phone: (215) 898-7475
Fax: (215) 573-2138
Email: haroldfs at gmail.com
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