A separate Planning Inspectorate for Wales need to be established as a measure to protect the Welsh language in its traditional heartlands. That is the message from Bethan Jones Parry, President of Dyfodol i’r Iaith, after the publication of details about the language in the 2011 Census.
Ms Jones Parry said, “Dyfodol yr Iaith calls for establishing an Independent Planning Inspectorate for Wales. Politicians in the Assembly need to consider this as a matter of urgency in order to ensure that efforts to enhance the language in the next ten years are not destryoed by damaging planning and economic decisions”.
Ms Jones Parry added, “It is now evident that the Welsh language needs to be an integral part of economic planning and housing planning. Housing developments need to prioritise the impact of the development on the Welsh language”
“At the moment there is one planning inspectorate for England and Wales. Therefore planning in developed based on the needs of England and Wales together. This is what is responsible for the unacceptable number of houses in each Unitary Development Plan.”
“To all extent and and purposes Wales in being developed as a Development Area of England. ”
“An urgent example of the need for sensible planning is the possibility that caravans parks in Wales may have the right to accomodate residents for a whole year, not ten months as at present. This could open the floodgates to change the nature of rural areas”.
Bethan Jones Parry said, “There are a number of factors that contribute to the decline in the Welsh language in many areas of the counrty, including the failure of Welsh speakers to transfer the language to their children. But adverse planning and economic factors can undermine the best efforts to protect the language”
Dyfodol i’r Iaith will be holding a conference on Sustainability, Planning and the Languge in Bangor on Friday, 22nd February.