Wales development vision: 10 to watch for where you live

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Artist's impressionImage source, Cardiff Living/Pentan Architects
Image caption,
A mix of private and council housing is planned for Llanrumney, Cardiff

How we live, where we work and how we get around Wales, might look very different in 20 years' time.

Ministers say a clear vision is needed about how the country is developed and "what kind of place we want Wales to be in 2040".

But the new national development framework - out for consultation for the next three months - also recognises the distinctive challenges in different parts of the nation.

And there are headaches in striking the balance between the demands for industry, energy and housing - and protecting one of Wales' greatest assets, its environment.

Policies are outlined across three regions. So if you live in north Wales, mid and south west Wales, or south east Wales - what can you expect?

Image source, NicolasMcComber/Getty Images
Image caption,
The coast from Caernarfon to Prestatyn will play an important role but there needs to be investment in flood management

North Wales - 10 to watch out for

  • Primary focus for growth will be on Wrexham to Deeside
  • Cross-border opportunities with Cheshire and north west England but also connections with mid and south west Wales
  • The North Wales Metro will be part of a strengthening of transport links with Chester, Liverpool and Manchester, while congestion pinch points need to be addressed on the A55
  • 19,400 new homes needed over the next 20 years
  • The coastal corridor from Caernarfon to Prestatyn has an important role but investment in flood management is needed, a potential risk to growth
  • Green belts to help manage planning and growth but developments must also consider language, with more than 200,000 Welsh speakers among a 700,000 population
  • Holyhead port's role needs to be maintained and enhanced, including investment to support cruise ships
  • Tourism must be supported; importance of universities and advanced manufacturing in Flintshire also highlighted
  • Development must help deliver North Wales Growth Deal
  • The "strong potential" for renewable energy is highlighted. The potential economic benefits of new nuclear developments, like Wylfa B, are recognised, but also a "need to be balanced" against the long-term impact that large-scale developments have on sensitive areas and the surrounding environment
Image source, leighcol/Getty Images
Image caption,
Swansea Bay is one of two areas of primary focus for growth in mid and south west Wales

Mid and South West Wales - 10 to watch out for

  • Primary focus for growth - Swansea Bay and Llanelli
  • Secondary role for the Haven towns of Pembroke, Carmarthen, Aberystwyth, Newtown and Llandrindod Wells - they need to be supported to ensure "managed growth"
  • The region includes Wales' second city, as well as two national parks and some of the UK's most rural areas, but lacks connectivity. Swansea Bay Metro can improve accessibility and connectivity across the region - and see better planning involving land use and transport. Commitment also to tackle M4 congestion issues
  • 23,400 new homes needed over the next 20 years - 44% need to be affordable housing
Cardiff skyline graphic
Changing Wales

In figures

  • 114,000new homes needed by 2038

  • 4%rise in population estimated

  • 10%target increase in Welsh-speakers

  • 70%of power consumed to be generated by renewables by 2030

Source: National Development Framework, 2019
  • The Haven waterway's "unique combination" of natural harbour and long-established industries should be supported
  • "Significant" renewable energy potential
  • A "positive" planning framework needed to support tourism growth
  • Plans should consider the relationship between housing and economic growth and language in the region's Welsh-speaking heartlands
  • Two thirds of people in Ceredigion live in places with less than 2,000 people. Regional plans should look at how jobs, housing and services can be provided to support rural communities. It highlights the work of the new Growing Mid Wales Partnership
  • Planning decisions on key housing and employment sites should consider the investment in regional projects such as those through the Swansea Bay city deal
Image source, Chris McDowell/Getty Images
Image caption,
There are plans to develop Newport as a "second focal point" in south east Wales

South East Wales - 10 to watch out for

  • Primary focus for growth - Cardiff, Newport and the Valleys. Cardiff will "retain and extend" its role as the primary national centre for culture, sport, leisure, finance, media and the night-time economy
  • The legacy of industrial decline in the Valleys remains a major issue and plans should focus on how further regeneration can be achieved and bring brownfield sites back into use
  • Development and growth of Newport to allow it to fulfil its potential as a "second focal point" for the region
  • 71,200 new homes needed over the next 20 years - 48% need to be for social housing
  • South Wales Metro is a "major strategic opportunity" but, as well as Cardiff, it can help regeneration in towns like Merthyr, Pontypridd, Caerphilly and Bridgend along the new transport corridors
  • Cardiff Airport - its expansion plans and improved public transport links are "essential" to its success. Seen as a "key driver" of the Welsh economy. Work of the enterprise zone is supported, where it supports the functions of the airport
  • A Valleys Regional Park would build on the region's natural and cultural assets
  • Heads of the Valleys has benefited from EU funding in the past - going forward it has potential to build on tourism and having the Brecon Beacons on its doorstep, while investments need to be coordinated to address economic and social issues
  • Green belts - strategic planning must look at managing growth around Newport and the east of the region, including north Cardiff and the area north of the Severn Crossings
  • An opportunity to build on - and re-establish where they have weakened - relationships between the cities, the Valleys and adjoining rural areas. Ensure the region is integrated and connected as a whole

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