Councillors approve JLDP
Calls from Welsh language and anti-nuclear pressure groups to scrap a development plan for thousands of new homes looks set to fall on deaf ears.
Following the lead of Gwynedd Council, which has already rubber-stamped the document, a scrutiny committee meeting on Anglesey saw councillors approve the latest monitoring report on the Joint Local Development Plan (JLDP).
Covering the two counties and ratified separately by both authorities in 2017, the JLDP outlines where up to 7,184 new homes should be built across Gwynedd and Anglesey up to 2026.
But despite the plan being implemented when Wylfa Newydd was still expected to go ahead, officers persuaded councillors that the plan was “progressing well” and that no major review was required at this stage.
Fearing a drop in the percentage of Welsh speakers, Cymdeithas yr Iaith had urged councillors on both sides of the Menai Strait to scrap the plan until the fate of Wylfa Newydd – and its expected influx of thousands of construction workers – is known.
But officers, addressing the Partnership and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee meeting in Llangefni, were satisfied that the plan had already seen a rise in the number of affordable homes being built and that 74% of appeals made against council decisions had failed.
Chief planning officer, Dewi Francis Jones, added: “From the evidence we have in front of us, the plan is being implemented as it should and provides a good structure as we move on through the lifetime of the plan.
“There is no evidence that this needs further review at this stage and is performing in line with expectations.”
According to the report the success of the guidelines, in terms of protecting the Welsh language, had been proven after a failed planning appeal was made against Gwynedd Council after its planning committee refused permission for 366 homes in Penrhosgarnedd, Bangor.
Councillors feared the development would affect “future generations and the Welsh language” as well as citing its impact on roads, schools and a nearby hospital
Despite going to appeal, based on the new policy, the planning inspector backed councillors by judging that “insufficient evidence was provided to prove that there would “not be a negative impact on the Welsh Language.”
But anti-nuclear group PAWB (People Against Wylfa B) had urged councillors to put the brakes on the plans, claiming there was nothing to suggest that Wylfa Newydd will still go ahead.
“They took it for granted that Wylfa B was coming,” said Dylan Morgan from the group.
“In particular the estimated number of houses needed, which now seems far too high.
“Also planning permission has been given for several developments such as roads, car parks and similar things.”
A final decision is expected when members of Anglesey Council’s Executive discuss the monitoring report when it meets on Monday, October 28.
By Gareth Williams – Local Democracy Reporter
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