Dyfodol had a constructive meeting with the First Minister Carwyn Jones at the National Eisteddfod field in Denbigh on Monday 5th August.
Dyfodol i’r Iaith have asked the First Minister to include the Welsh language on the face of the proposed Planning Bill. Carwyn Jones had a conversation with the organisation’s President, Bethan Jones Parry; the Chair, Heini Gruffudd and Secretary, Simon Brooks.
The organisation presented a document to the First Minister on the relationship between the sustainability of the Welsh language and planning.
Planning and the Welsh language
The sustainability of the Welsh language is integral to planning. As a result, a robust framework needs to be developed to assess the impact of potential developments on the language. There are several examples of developments that have resulted in the Welsh language being weakened as a community language. Again there are examples of planning where the the language has been strengthened.
- The sustainability of the Welsh language should be integral to the proposed Planning Bill.
- A specific body should be set up to develop a context for the Welsh language and planning:
a new organisation
transferring the responsibility to a statutory body such as the Welsh Language Commissioner. This body would undertake independent assessments on behalf of local authorities and would decide whether the developments would be beneficial or detrimental to the Welsh language.
- It would be possible to develop this body under the Policy Standards of the Welsh Language Measure 2011, or for it to be considered in the context of the proposed Planning Bill
Planning Inspectorate and housing planning projections
The projections for house building imposed on local authorities in their Local Development Plans are totally inappropriate. They are far too high and do not have a scientific base. They reflect migration patterns from the past at a time of economic growth and this is not appropriate today.
- The forecasts for house building need to be reviewed based on local need.
- Wales should have its own Planning Inspectorate.
- Should have statutory power under the Planning Bill;
- A standard methodology should be introduced to measure the impact of developments on the Welsh language.
- Sites designated as ones that could be included in Local Development Plans should have a Welsh language impact assessment attached to them
- Planning permission should be refused if the impact on the Welsh language is negative i.e. leading to a lower percentage of Welsh speakers or less use of the Welsh language.
- Each LDP should include a statement outlining how the local planning authority has considered the needs and wellbeing of the Welsh language.
- Local authorities should plan to increase the % of Welsh speakers and use of the Welsh language during the lifetime of any LDP.
- Local authorities should force developments to use Welsh names and new businesses to use Welsh/bilingual signage.
- A statement should be made outlining what each planning authority can and cannot do in relation to the Welsh language.
- Living locally should score highly in the points system for allocating social housing..
- Planning authorities should assess the impact of developments on the Welsh language jointly with expert bodies such as local Mentrau Iaith and Welsh Language Commissioner.
- The effectiveness of TAN 20 should be reviewed annually
“We had a very constructive conversation with Carwyn Jones and as an organisation we look forward to a further meeting with the First Minister in the autumn to discuss the priorities in relation to promoting and supporting the Welsh language in our communities”, said President, Bethan Jones Parry.