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Welsh Government sets out planning policy for a post-COVID world

Mark Moran
21 July 2020
The Welsh Government wants to revitalise town centres in a sustainable manner
The Welsh Government wants to revitalise town centres in a sustainable manner


Retaining the positive changes driven by the coronavirus pandemic has been made central to the Welsh Government’s new planning policy.

Boosting digital services in areas where current provision is poor and making sure communities engage in home working will lead to reduced traffic and cleaner air

Building Better Places - The Planning System Delivering Resilient and Brighter Futures advocates:

  • creating mixed use, sustainable communities with a mixture of housing (include social housing) and services
  • capturing active travel opportunities
  • revitalising town centres by creating flexible town centre buildings and making the most of outdoor space opportunities
  • reopening the tourism and sector and providing guidance on readjusting to social distancing
  • ensuring access to green spaces and opportunities to connect with the natural and historic environment
  • improving air quality and soundscapes for better health and wellbeing.

Minister for Housing and Local Government Julie James said: “The COVID-19 pandemic and our collective response to the issues it raises, is one of the most complicated challenges in a generation. We have all had to do things differently – whether that’s working from home, taking part in online school lessons or keeping in touch with friends and family online.

“As we emerge from this crisis, we must ensure we retain the best elements of the changes that have occurred around us. In this recovery period, we must continue to strive for quality in our built environments. We cannot let these standards drop or go for short-term economic gains over longer term well-being objectives.

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for us to reset the clock and think again about the places in which we want to live, work and play. We need to rebuild a society that respects our environment, whilst giving people good places to live and which are accessible on foot, bike and public transport.

“This document sets out our vision for achieving this and pinpoints the most relevant policy priorities and actions to aid in the recovery. We cannot, however, do this alone. We need to work together with the development industry, local planning authorities, public bodies and the third sector to grasp this opportunity to deliver high-quality development in the right place.”

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