CLA Wales is to continue to press the Welsh Government to fight for wider decision making powers over the scale and size of renewable energy schemes and the attendant infrastructure.
Speaking at the Anglesey Show, Wales Director Ben Underwood welcomed the current review into energy policy and planning in Wales. He said the Association will be urging the National Assembly for Wales’ Environment and Sustainability Committee’s review to accord greater emphasis to the impact of larger scale developments on rural communities.
He said: "We welcome the Welsh Government’s decision to review the current devolution arrangements for energy policy and planning. The catalyst for this is the current strength of feeling over the proposed Mid Wales connection.
"In our submission to the committee we will be arguing that the Welsh Government is better placed than the Westminster Government to consider the local effects of major onshore and offshore energy infrastructure projects. We will also be pressing for a better co-ordinated and streamlined approach to planning decisions on renewable energy schemes."
Mr Underwood stressed that CLA members are forward thinking and generally in favour of innovative green energy schemes. However there is a strong feeling that decisions on planning permission for the larger scale projects should take into account the impact of the infrastructure on local communities.
The inquiry into energy policy and planning in Wales is being carried out by the National Assembly for Wales’ Environment and Sustainability Committee. It will consider how the current devolution arrangements for energy policy and planning affect the delivery of the Welsh Government’s desired future energy mix in Wales.
The Committee will also consider the two petitions about Welsh Government planning guidance as it relates to onshore wind energy and the impact on local communities and infrastructure.
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