Wales politics

Effective ban on new coal mining plans in Wales

Ffos-y-Fran Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Open-cast mining applications will not be permitted in the new policy

An effective ban on new coal mines in Wales getting planning permission is to come into effect.

The measure is part of the Welsh Government's new planning policy, published on Wednesday.

Applications for opencast and deep-mine coal mining will only be allowed under "exceptional circumstances".

Environment Secretary Lesley Griffiths said the policy will ensure "we have well-designed spaces which will benefit future generations".

It comes after the assembly passed legally-binding carbon emissions targets on Tuesday.

Planning Policy Wales governs what councils can allow through planning permission.

In the new edition, the government says planning permission for opencast or deep-mine development "should not be permitted".

"Should, in wholly exceptional circumstances, proposals be put forward they would clearly need to demonstrate why they are needed in the context of climate change emissions reductions targets and for reasons of national energy security," the policy said.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Fracking, shown here at the Preston New Road site in Lancashire, should be "avoided" according to the policy

The government said oil and gas extraction, including fracking, should be avoided.

Councils will be required to notify Welsh ministers in Cardiff of any planning applications they intend to approve for new coal and petroleum developments.

"The Welsh Government has set challenging targets for decarbonisation and increased renewable energy generation," the document said.

"The continued extraction of all fossil fuels, including shale gas, coal bed methane and underground coal gasification, are not compatible with those targets."

Image caption Proposals for flats near Clwb Ifor Bach in Cardiff sparked a campaign last year

The policy also calls for new non-residential developments to have charging points in 10% of parking spaces.

And planning authorities will be required to define areas where wind and solar developments will be permitted and set.

Ms Griffiths said: "It is essential developments built today, which will last for many years, have a legacy of well-designed, sustainable places which will improve the lives of all."

Other measures include requiring services to be easily accessible by walking and cycling.

Developers building homes near music venues will also be required to put mitigating measures in place so noise generated by the pre-existing businesses will not be the subject of complaints from new residents.

It follows campaigning over an eventually withdrawn plan for flats near Clwb Ifor Bach in Cardiff.

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