Wrexham identified as ‘cluster area’ for large scale housing and employment growth in next 20 years
Wrexham has been identified as a “cluster area” where large scale housing and employment growth will be focused over the next 20 years.
The framework, which the Welsh Government is currently consulting on, outlines a vision for development in Wales between 2020 and 2040.
It includes delivering more “affordable homes at scale and pace”, proposals for large-scale wind and solar energy development and a “focus on growing existing urban areas and ensuring that homes, jobs and services are located in the same area.”
It is estimated than an additional 114,000 homes will be needed across Wales by 2038 – with plans for a “shift in the delivery model required by building affordable homes at scale and pace.”
The Welsh Government say that: “To address this we will support a more balanced approach with local authorities, registered social landlords and small and medium sized construction and building enterprises encouraged to build more homes. The reuse of publicly owned land will be important to the delivery of these homes.”
The framework also identifies three clusters of towns and cities which are “nationally significant” in terms of where large-scale housing and employment growth will be focused.
This includes Cardiff, Newport and the Valleys, Swansea Bay and Llanelli and more locally – Wrexham and Deeside.
As part of the proposed cluster area locally, it is noted that a “new green belt will be created to manage to form of growth.”
These locations have been chosen due to being “economically distinctive, supporting a range of businesses, enterprises and universities, and offering culturally rich lifestyles to residents and visitors.”
The Framework continues onto say: “They are nationally significant places and this strategy promotes their continued growth and regeneration.
“As a result, new large scale employment opportunities and housing growth will occur predominantly, though not exclusively, in these urban areas.”
In other areas, development will meet local aspiration and need to complement the growing urban areas.
In recent years Wrexham has failed to meet new housing targets and currently has an out of date Local Development Plan (LDP).
This could be something that changes in the coming months, with the public examination of the new plan set to get underway in September.
The document, which has been met with some controversy locally, puts forward a number of sites for potential future developments – including provision for more than 8,000 houses and potential employment / regeneration developments.
It also lays out the preferred development strategy up until 2028 and upon adoption will replace the current Unitary Development Plan (1996 – 2011) and will act as the basis for decisions on land use planning for county borough.
However it came under fire from some councillors and communities last year amid concerns over the soundness of the document and questions over some of the proposals within the document.
Speaking about the National Development Framework consultation, Housing and Local Government Minister Julie James, said: “We want to promote sustainable growth in Wales, focused around existing towns and cities. This strategy is sufficiently flexible to respond to the challenges of the next 20 years.
“We are ambitious to increase the amount of renewable energy generated here in Wales; the National Development Framework sets out where we believe large scale renewable energy projects should be located in Wales
“We know that Wales needs more good quality housing; to develop renewable energy and for people to be able to access well-paid jobs close to where they live.
“I am committed to building more council housing at pace and scale in Wales, and to see far more affordable homes to rent from councils and other social landlords.
“I want a planning system that consistently meets all our needs; and for our villages, towns and cities to be organised in a way that makes it easier to live healthy and active lives, for us and for future generations.
“I believe the policies set out in the National Development Framework will help to deliver this.
“The consultation on the draft National Development Framework is now online, and I hope to hear from a wide range of people in Wales on our proposals.”
On 2 October between 1pm to 6pm a National Development Framework drop-in session will take place in Wrexham.
The Welsh Government say these sessions are demand led and places need to be booked in advance.
To do so email email@example.com or contact 0300 025 3261 or 0300 025 1543.
You can view the National Development Framework document in full, here.
You can take part in the Welsh Government consultation and have your say on the proposed framework, here. The consultation will close on November 1st.
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