Draft National Development Framework for Wales

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This week sees the release of Welsh Government's Draft National Development Framework (NDF) - a plan and spatial vision for Wales for 2040, which is out for consultation until November.

This National Development Plan sets direction for investment and development which Local Development Plans will build on, with LDPs needing then to support the implementation of the NDF.

It provides eleven proposed outcomes of the NDF, which are based on the placemaking outcomes in Planning Policy Wales, and the Wellbeing Act such as: "Our cities, towns and villages will be physically and digitally well connected, offering good quality of life to their residents" and "Cities and large towns are magnets for jobs and investment, while people are drawn to live and work there for the economic and social opportunities they provide".

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The Spatial Strategy sets out where growth should be focused, how it should be planned and managed, and how we should utilise renewable energy in powering and heating places. It identifies the main cities and towns as three national growth areas: Cardiff, Newport and the Valleys; Swansea Bay and Llanelli; and Wrexham and Deeside, and promotes their continued growth and regeneration.

It then proposes a set of draft national policies which set out how growth should be planned and managed to create sustainable places and to achieve the outcomes - fundamentally the opportunity to shape, grow, renew, and regenerated our cities and towns, and create sustainable, healthy places which embed green infrastructure.

Proposed policies include: sustainable urban growth (urban growth with active travel networks, mixed use, higher density, integrated public transport); supporting urban centres (public service facilities of a significant scale should be located in town and city centres); delivering affordable homes (a more balanced approach to delivery between private sector, local authorities, RSLs, and Small and Medium sized enterprises encouraged to build more homes); and preparing a strategic framework for biodiversity enhancement and ecosystem resilience.

Policies are also proposed relating specifically to each of the three regions of Wales, with the South East Wales.

Please contact Mark Farrar for further information on this, or to discuss how it could relate to your work, or responding to the consultation.

We will provide our opinion on the potential implications and opportunities of the NDF shortly.